After a week of inactivity due to heavy rainfall, state regulators have resumed work at the Hanalei River restoration project. Wet conditions on the site located on state land above the Hanalei Wildlife Refuge, halted restoration work from Friday, Sept. 11 to Thursday, Sept. 17.

The Hanalei River Project began in 1995, when the Hanalei River bank broke down. Since then than 30,000 tons of eroded soil and sediment have fallen into Hanalei Bay since it jumped its banks. A riverbank stabilization project has been underway by the Department of Land and Natural Resources with the goal of returning the river back to its original form by restoring the 100-foot section of eroded stream bank located on state land above the Hanalei Wildlife Refuge.

Over the years, the breach has caused numerous problems in the area, according to DLNR, including environmental pollution, loss of property, stream and reef degradation, and loss of water for nearby taro fields and the refuge. The riverbank stabilization project has a goal of returning the river back to its original form by restoring the 100-foot section of eroded stream bank located on state land above the refuge. The project will also ensure a consistent flow of water in the Hanalei River, which is the primary source used for taro cultivation and wetland habitat within the refuge, according to Carty Chang, administrator of DLNR’s Engineering Division.

There are approximately four weeks of work remaining, pending good weather, DLNR officials said. This does not include the maintenance period for the landscaping.