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Now is time to ponder solutions for safer Hawaii

“People need to calm down!” my daughter texted, “God always has a plan!” Initiating better stewardship of natural resources could be one of them.

Coronavirus safety measures forewarn catastrophic possibilities in Hawaii. Worldwide travel poses a greater risk of exposure to the islands. What if Hawaii had to be quarantined?

Importing up to 90 percent of its food, Hawaii is especially vulnerable. People have valid concerns. Food and water are essential for survival. Hawaii has extremely limited supplies. Any number of reasons could restrict shipments or travel to the islands. Depending primarily on tourism could prove fatal economically.

Diversified agriculture would provide jobs and food security. With ranching and farming, each island could ensure adequate provisions.

Natural disasters disrupt supply routes. Lahaina is particularly vulnerable. Considered the “golden goose,” Maui’s west side boasts one of the largest visitor counts in Hawaii. With a densely populated residential area and proximity to school facilities, growing food in Lahaina makes sense.

Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate’s 1,200 acres in Lahaina could be a precious resource for food security. Besides farming, the area is an ideal location for food processing and distribution.

Now is a good time to work on strategic plans for an agriculture industry throughout the islands. Landholders and government officials need to consider the highest and best use of natural resources for public safety. Preparing for the future, get kids advocating for their community’s food security.

With COVID-19 government shutdowns, time and energy could be expended toward solutions for a safer Hawaii. Hopefully something good will come from the coronavirus scare.

Michele Lincoln

Lahaina

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