Hawaii’s governor and legislators have announced a proposal to create a $7.5 billion tourism development project in the island’s central Atoll.
The proposal would help develop a $6.6 billion beachfront park on Kauai’s south shore.
The project would create the island nation’s first “sanctuary” park on the islands’ northern shore.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is also considering a $1 billion development project to add a new hotel to a former military air base near the capital.
A new federal government-funded study has also been released on the topic.
“This is a really good step forward to protect these areas and the ocean that’s right next to them,” Hawaii Tourism Development Authority director of environmental resources Jennifer Tarr said in a statement.
The project would also include a major expansion of a new, $10 million marine research facility on Maui.
The Atoll’s development would also give the islands a boost in tourism, with more than 1 million visitors visiting each year.
The project has already drawn praise from Hawaii Governor David Ige.
Ige said in the announcement that the project would be the “best possible outcome for our state.”
The project was first floated in 2012.
It has been on the books for some time, but its fate remains in the hands of the governor and state lawmakers.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is not alone in pushing for the islands to take a stand.
In the past few years, the federal government has provided funding for dozens of beach development projects across the Pacific Rim.
The Trump administration also has taken a hands-off approach to Hawaii, leaving it to its local governments to set their own development plans.