Sea Level Rising: Looking towards the future

Global sea levels are rising. It’s not a reality that people like to think about, but the fact is it’s happening as we speak.

According to a report developed by Tetra Tech, Inc. and the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL), recent observations and projections suggest that 3 feet or more of sea level rise could occur earlier than 2100 and even as early as year 2060.

This Hawaii Sea Level Rise Viewer map depicts projections for future hazard exposure due to rising sea levels in the Ka  ‘anapali, Maui area.

This Hawaii Sea Level Rise Viewer map depicts projections for future hazard exposure due to rising sea levels in the Ka‘anapali, Maui area.

This reality further hit home when Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa recently signed a Proclamation that accepts a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report that was prepared by the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and released in December 2017 as mandated by the State Legislature.

The Proclamation acknowledges that climate change is real and directs “County departments to use the Report in their plans, programs and capital improvement decisions, to mitigate impacts to infrastructure and critical facilities triggered by sea level rise.”  It also calls on the Planning Department to propose rule changes to the Maui, Molokai and Lanai Planning Commissions to include sea level rise in their shoreline setback calculations.

Currently, the Employees’ Retirement System’s (ERS) is working to revitalize portions of their 305-acre Ka‘anapali Golf Courses property in West Maui. While these lands are located outside of the vulnerable sea level rise exposure area, the ERS believe it’s important to have a broader look, both short- and long-term, when it comes to planning for our island’s future.”

“We commend the County for taking sea level rise into account in their planning department’s decisions, including shoreline setbacks,” said project manager Ted Lennon of Lowe Enterprises. “Climate change impacts us all and we look forward to working with the County on planning ahead for future developments or addressing the impact on existing infrastructure. Our hope is we can all come together as a community to address this serious reality.”


Juniors play free on the Ka‘anapali Kai Course with their own tees

Lahaina News

The Juniors Play Free-Bring the Ohana Program is offered daily through Aug. 31 at Ka‘anapali Golf Courses.

The Juniors Play Free-Bring the Ohana Program is offered daily through Aug. 31 at Ka‘anapali Golf Courses.

Helping to bring up the next generation of golfers, Ka‘anapali Golf Courses announced the continuation of its annual Juniors Play Free-Bring the ‘Ohana Program. One junior golfer, age seven to 17, can play or ride for free daily from now through Aug. 31, 2018 when accompanied by a paying adult on the Ka‘anapali Kai Course.

Juniors may also play for free (with an accompanied paying adult) on the Royal Course after 3 p.m. all summer long.

A fifth set of tees was designed in 2009 specifically for the keiki (children), a par 71 at 2,459 yards on the Kai Course. With a fun and colorful design and a par set for their level of play, keiki from across the globe can experience the Kai Course and its beautiful, panoramic views while playing with their ‘ohana (family).

PGA Director of Golf Sutee Nitakorn commented, "Ka‘anapali is a family destination for both visitors and residents alike, especially in the summer months."

"The juniors play free program has been at Ka‘anapali for over 15 years, and our goal is to keep families together during their vacation and time off from school. We also offer great rates for juniors the rest of the year for this same reason."

Every summer, more than 1,500 rounds are played by juniors who take advantage of Ka‘anapali's offer with their parents or adult family friends.

Additional juniors pay $39 on the Kai Course and $49 on the Royal Course.

For tee times, and to take advantage of the juniors play free promotion, call the Golf & Resort Shop at (808) 661-3691 or toll-free at (866) 454-4653. Follow Ka‘anapali Golf on Facebook or Instagram and be sure to tag it in your posts!

A message from Thom Williams, Executive Director of the ERS

Thom Williams

Lahaina News, November 30, 2017

I’d personally like to thank all the residents who came out to West Maui Community Association’s (WMCA) Nov. 6th informational meeting to discuss the Employees’ Retirement System’s (ERS) Ka‘anapali Golf Courses Revitalization Project.

As you know, the ERS, which provides retirement, disability, survivor, and other benefits to more than  135,000 members, is proposing modifications to portions of its 305-acre Ka‘anapali Golf Course properties in West Maui.  With an eye toward the future, our intent is to enhance the property’s value to the retirement fund, the resort area, and the surrounding community. The proposed development area involves  up to 35 acres encompassing the golf courses and select portions of the property for new residential and resort-related developments.

One of the key messages we continue to convey is that we value your input and are listening intently to what you have to say. We are committed to an open and transparent process and appreciate everyone who shared their views during WMCA’s Nov. 6th meeting or who provided us with their comments via email, or expressed interest in receiving project updates by signing up on our website,

While we continue to receive feedback on our proposed project, we also greatly appreciate you sharing what matters to you and your families – not just today, but for future generations as well. 

What we’ve heard so far are frustrated families, including our ERS members, who are fed up with the status quo in West Maui – lack of affordable housing, continuous traffic congestion, delayed infrastructure projects - and concern for the future of your keiki.

The ERS is willing to work within your community of stakeholders to find solutions to these existing issues.  The challenge we, along with other developers and government agencies face, is that the complexity of these concerns requires a concerted group effort from the State and County government and the private sector, including developers, the business community, and concerned citizens.  It will mean finding a place of balance, where projects and programs can still remain economically viable while producing important benefits for our citizens.

As challenging as it is now, it will be more difficult to resolve many of our island’s problems long-term if they are not addressed starting today.

As a related matter, the ERS understands that we are responsible for addressing impacts created by our proposed modifications of the golf courses. We look forward to working with government and the community to identify and develop potential solutions.

Our ERS Ka‘anaapali revitalization project is clearly not a done deal. Nor is the plan that we originally proposed set in stone. Already the ERS is considering modifications based on conversations and feedback received from you.

Our hope is that we can work together as one group to realize a safer, healthier and prosperous future for West Maui’s citizens.  It is your future, and we hope that ERS and its members can be a part of this important effort.