PO’IPU — Damage from heavy rains and floods and the resulting repairs were the basis for the selection of this year’s Outstanding Water Conservationists by the Kaua‘i Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Rodney and Karol Haraguchi, Hanalei Valley taro farmers, were selected as the East Kaua‘i SWCD honorees for their outstanding work in conservation and protection of the Hanalei Valley water resource, said Ted Inouye, representing the East Kaua‘i SWCD.
The presentation was made before the 49th annual Hawai‘i Water Works Association convention, Thursday, at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort & Spa.
In 1962, Congress established a unique program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowered rural communities to improve themselves while protecting and developing their natural resources. Local councils would provide direction, planning, coordination, and implementation of specific projects within their boundaries.
The focus on local direction and control has made Resource Conservation and Development one of the most successful rural development programs of the Federal Government. To date, three hundred eighty five RC&D areas have been authorized throughout the Country. Over 70,000 projects have been adopted nationwide since 1964, and more than 50,000 have been completed.
Hawaii’s four RC&Ds, cover all the major Islands. Through the leadership of Maui County’s five Soil and Water Conservation Districts and with assistance from the Soil Conservation Service, Tri-Isle RC&D Council, Inc., the oldest of the Hawaii RC&D areas, was established in 1970.
The Tri-Isle Council meets on a quarterly basis and is made up of a 15 member Board of Directors who bring a variety of backgrounds and professional expertise to the organization. The office staff includes the Executive Director, NRCS Coordinator, Administrative Assistant and Financial Assistant. The Council membership includes:
5 members from Maui County’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts 2 members from County Departments 8 at-large members from the community
RC&D provides a mechanism for local residents to work together and actively solve economic, environmental, and agricultural problems. We help utilize the abilities, knowledge and energy of local volunteers to get projects done. Interested groups may approach Tri-Isle for project sponsorship by submitting an application.