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Kauai County Named Preserve America
Community Status

In December 2008, the County of Kaua`i joined the ranks of Preserve America Communities, which in Hawai`i includes Maui County and Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District. The Preserve America designation is part of a White House initiative that encourages and supports a community’s efforts to preserve its cultural and historic heritage.

In welcoming the county to the Preserve America family, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Chairman John L. Nau, III commented, “There are significant economic, educational, and cultural benefits that historic preservation, through efforts such as heritage tourism, provides a community. Sustainable preservation is not a cost for maintaining the past; it is an investment in the future. Preserve America Communities are to be commended for their dedication to historic preservation and their visions for civic improvement. Congratulations to the County of Kaua‘i on their designation.”

The ACHP administers the Preserve America Program, which began as a White House initiative in 2003. First Lady Laura Bush is honorary chair of Preserve America.

One of the key supporters of Kaua`i’s designation was Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. In a statement he said, “The County of Kaua‘i has a long standing historical and culturally significant past that merits such a designation as a Preserve America Community. The designation will offer a mechanism to recognize important federal heritage sites on Kaua`i, thereby promoting an opportunity for interaction between the federal government and the public at the community level.”

Kaua`i environmental organizations' staff and volunteers celebrate the annual Ocean Fair and NOAA's 200th anniversary.
Kaua`i environmental organizations' staff and volunteers celebrate the annual Ocean Fair-and NOAA's 200th anniversary.

With the Preserve America designation, the county now becomes eligible for grants and other assistance to support its historic preservation and heritage tourism efforts, including technical and financial support for educational and marketing opportunities. Over 600 communities, including cities, counties, tribes and states, across the 50 states and two territories have received Preserve America designation.

Former Kaua`i Mayor Bill “Kaipo” Asing, in his application letter, noted that “Kaua`i embodies the values and traditions celebrated through the Preserve America program. Our various communities have their own unique history and traditions, and most of them have taken steps to preserve their history and culture for future generations.” In a written statement, current Mayor Bernard Carvalho said “We’re proud to receive this designation…We’ll be looking for opportunities to utilize these grants for historic and cultural preservation.”

Citing the state and community collaboration Nu`alolo Kai Archaeological Resource Management Project as one of Kaua’i’s premier cultural heritage preservation programs, the application also drew attention to the many historic towns that make Kaua`i a special place. In addition, Kaua`i’s commitment to historic preservation is reflected in its museums, cultural and historical learning programs, and its annual celebrations.

Kaua`i’s application process was aided by ONMS’ Pacific Islands Region, which provided technical support and guidance. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary has an office in Lihu’e, Kauai since 1996.  Ms. Jean Souza is the Kaua’i Sanctuary liaison and was instrumental in helping pull together this application. She can be reached at jean.souza@noaa.gov, if you have any questions regarding the island. 

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