Protect Hawaii’s Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Resort

Target: Drew Stotesbury, assets manager at Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu

Goal: Stop the proposed expansion of the resort into fragile, surrounding areas

Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort, a large hotel located on Oahu’s North Shore, has recently redrawn decades-old plans to expand its property. The new owners have outlined an expansion proposal that represents only about 60 percent of what previous owners first hoped to build back in 1986. However, the resort’s plan to expand, although only a percentage of what it could legally be, has left some Oahu residents concerned.

Mark Cunningham, a member of the Defend Oahu Coalition, stated, “there’s a great reduction on what [Turtle Bay Resort is] legally entitled to build… but what most residents have to realize is that what they’re proposing to build is two to three times what’s existing here already.” If the resort were to double or triple in size, it could only do so by expanding into the already fragile and previously untouched area that surrounds the property.

Turtle Bay Resort currently exists in an area that supports hundreds of species, some endemic to Hawaii and some protected by the Endangered Species Act. Among these are the Hawaiian Monk Seal, Green Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Hawaiian Moorhens, Hawaiian Petrels, Hawaiian Bats and others. In addition, the site is a temporary home to numerous species of migratory birds, many protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as well as other native animals and endemic plants.

The resort’s plan to expand to double or triple its current size threatens all of the species that surround the property. Furthermore, the resort’s proposal to develop roads around the area in an effort to ease traffic flow will threaten the previously undeveloped buffer zones. These undeveloped zones are vital to supporting the countless species that live near Turtle Bay.

Despite the resort’s proposal to scale back on original expansion plans, adding to this already sprawling property will only damage the fragile and valuable ecosystem surrounding it. Tell the Turtle Bay Resort to preserve some of Hawaii’s undeveloped spaces and the native species that live there by not expanding into the fragile areas that surround the resort.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Drew Stotesbury,

The area surrounding Turtle Bay Resort is a valuable ecosystem that serves as a home to many of Hawaii’s endemic or endangered species. These animals, such as the Hawaiian Monk Seal, Hawksbill Turtle and Green Sea Turtles, as well as many species of birds and native plants, are dependent on the currently undeveloped coastal wetlands around the resort.

Expanding into this vital ecosystem, even if only at a percentage of what is legally permitted, would bring irreversible damage and threaten large groups of plants and animals. By doubling or even tripling the size of its property, Turtle Bay Resort would be responsible for the degradation of one of Hawaii’s untouched areas, all in the name of economic gain.

Please leave the area surrounding Turtle Bay Resort intact, and do not go forward with plans to expand the resort. By preserving this fragile, valuable ecosystem, you will help to ensure the survival of many endangered species and protect Hawaii’s biodiversity.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nathaniel Counts via Wikimedia Commons

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