Oceanit has been working to organize and run community outreach meetings to solicit local engagement on the proposed Ala Wai Canal flood management plans. Oceanit’s Innovation Consulting team was contracted by the “Permitted Interaction Group,” sanctioned under the City Council and led by Council Members Carol Fukunaga, Ann Kobayashi and Tommy Waters. The primary purpose was to conduct outreach and ideate alternatives to the initial U.S. Army Corps of Engineers watershed plans, which have been met with resistance from local stakeholders who felt left out of the planning process.
Oceanit organized and hosted five community outreach meetings for stakeholders from all levels of the Ala Wai Watershed (Such as Makiki, Manoa and Palolo Valleys, and Waikiki). The result was great input and feedback from many stakeholders affected by the USACE plans. From private homeowners and businesses, to community associations and education groups, over 100 potentially impacted parties joined Oceanit to engage in discussions at community meetings that took place over a multi-week period in September.
In October, Oceanit reported findings to the City Council. The public meeting was held at Ala Wai Elementary School on October 1st at 5:30pm and Oceanit delivered a summary of community inputs and alternatives, and the next steps of this project. These ideas included alternative infrastructures, moveable storm barriers, ecosystem restoration, flood gates and pumps, and retractable walls to control possible flooding. This meeting also allowed participants to provide additional comments and questions. The next phase of work will include a review of the original USACE plan, a review of the recent updates by the Corps, and a review and analysis of alternatives to reach a recommended approach. We are pleased to share the comments and questions provided by meeting participants at the 10/1 Ala Wai Elementary School meeting in this PDF document, and below: