The voluntary sale and acquisition of 2,317 acres in the southeast part of Hawaii Island was announced Monday.

The area is known as Waikapuna and the agreement is being described by supporters as a significant development.

“This purchase conserves over 2.3 miles of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail or ala loa, the ancient fishing village of Waikapuna, and hundreds of intact pre‐contact Native Hawaiian cultural sites,” said Keoni Fox, director of the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, in a press release.

He continued: “This land holds special meaning for Native Hawaiians as it is the place where noted Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui spent her summers as a child, and where she learned the traditions and knowledge that formed the basis of her book, ‘The Polynesian Family System in Kau.’”

Waikapuna. DLNR

The property also includes sea cliffs and caves that are nesting areas for seabirds like the Noio or Hawaiian black noddy, according to a press release.

The announcement comes from the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Legacy Land Conservation Program, Kau Mahi LLC and The Trust for Public Land.

The land was paid for by the the County of Hawaii’s Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Program, which granted $4 million, while the state granted $2 million. The land owner gave up $1.3 million in value.

The land is “now encumbered by a perpetual conservation easement” owned by the county restricting the land to agricultural and cultural preservation uses.

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