NERR Site Selection Process

The Office of Planning is coordinating the selection of a site for a research reserve in Hawaii. There are currently 28 research reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). Information on the national system can be found here.

The site selection process began in 2013, and more information on this process can be found here.  After receiving applications submitted by interested communities and the University of Hawaii, Heeia was identified as the preferred site.  The next step in the site selection process is for the Governor to submit a site nomination request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In developing the nomination request, we are seeking the public’s input on the preferred site and its nomination.  We are providing many opportunities for comments through public meetings, written comments, and discussions with community organizations in the Heeia area.  All comments received by March 7, 2014, were collected and addressed in the site nomination document.

Scoping Meetings

To begin the next phase of the site designation process, scoping meetings will be held in Kaneohe and Honolulu.  See below for meeting details.

Scoping Mtg. Notice

Public Meetings  

After public notice, a first public meeting to take comments on the preferred site and its nomination was held in the vicinity of the preferred site on Thursday, January 9, 2014, at Governor Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School’s dining hall.  As requested by meeting attendees, unredacted comments from the first meeting and comments received by E-mail are available online for review at

A second followup public meeting was held on February 27, 2014, also at Governor Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School’s dining hall at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Both public meetings were advertised in the local paper.  Any comments received by February 9, 2014, were addressed at the February 27 meeting and additional comments were taken. The final list of comments, collected until March 7, 2014, is available online for review at

Click here for the public meeting AGENDA, PROCESS HANDOUT, MAP HANDOUT, RESPONSES TO COMMENTS, and list of CRITERIA. These were also available at the second public meeting.

A NERR is.. and is not...

Written Comments

We thank you for your participation at both public meetings as well as for taking the time to submit comments.  Your further participation is encouraged in the next phase of the process.

Poster Image

Map of proposed NERR at Heeia

If you have questions regarding the site selection and designation process, or to be added to our mailing list, please contact Rebecka Arbin at, or 587-2831.