NOAA 2003-R411
Contact: Glenda Tyson
NOAA News Releases 2003
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New Multi-Purpose Center Proposed

Officials from the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced proposed plans to upgrade and expand its Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) headquarters in Kihei, Hawai`i. The plans call for demolition and removal of two antiquated storage buildings, construction of a new multi-purpose building, installation of a new parking lot and site landscaping such as an outdoor courtyard.

“The new building will enhance the capabilities of the sanctuary to accommodate its education and research programs,” said Naomi McIntosh, acting sanctuary manager. “The proposed project will relieve current overcrowding and provide space for additional staff as well as a modern facility for conducting seminars and community outreach.”

The sanctuary will hold a public open house from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, 2003, at 726 South Kihei Road, Kihei, Hawai`i. Site drawings and a model of the proposed building will be on display. A draft environmental assessment (EA) has also been released for public comment. The project team including sanctuary staff, the project architect and consultants preparing the EA, will be available to answer questions.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, 13 national marine sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources. In addition, the NMSP is conducting a sanctuary designation process to incorporate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve into the national sanctuary system.

NOAA’s National Oceans and Coastal Services (NOAA Oceans and Coasts) manages the National Marine Sanctuary Program and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. NOAA Oceans and Coasts balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

To receive a copy of the draft environmental impact assessment, contact the Sanctuary office at
1-(800) 831-4888 or email; All written comments must be received no later than April 7, 2003. Comments must be sent to:

Claire Cappelle
726 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI 96753
Phone: (800) 831-4888
Fax: (808) 874-3815

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