US Congress approves funds for community projects on Big Island


July 20, 2022, 2:00 p.m. HST
* Updated July 20 at 11:47 a.m.

The United States House of Representatives approved $8.8 million in community project funding for several projects in Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, including some on the Big Island, that will benefit underserved communities and provide much-needed funding for deserving nonprofits.

“Hawaii’s Second Congressional District is one of the largest and most diverse districts in our nation,” Congressman Kai Kahele, who represents the Second Congressional District, said in a press release. “That’s why my staff and I have made it a priority to bring federal resources home. We have been intimately involved in reviewing and promoting the projects that will have the greatest impact in our state.

The Big Island projects that will receive funding are:

  • Mālama ʻĀina’s Kanakea Project: This project, which will improve park facilities at Reed’s Bay in Hilo through capital improvements to improve access to and use of the park as a location for educational and cultural programming as well as a tourist attraction in benefiting the Waiākea and Keaukaha communities, will receive $1.5 million. .
  • Girl Scouts of Hawaii for the reconstruction of Camp Kilohana: This project will receive $400,000 to help renovate the aging and damaged facilities at Camp Kilohana on the Big Island, including its overnight camping shelters, outbuildings, and cooking and dining facilities.

“Defending these projects means direct support to our keiki, our families and our environment, and will result in strengthening our communities for years to come,” Kahele said in the press release.

In addition to the $8.8 million in funding for community projects, Congress also approved critical federal funding and programs that will directly benefit Hawaii’s Second Congressional District and communities nationwide.


Highlights include:

  • $62.5 million for the Home Ownership Assistance Program.
  • $35.5 million for agricultural quarantine inspections.
  • $34 million for the Volcano Hazards Program, a program that monitors volcanic activity, including in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
  • $28 million in home loans through the Native Hawaiian Home Loan Guarantee Program.
  • $22.5 million for the Native American Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program, a program that helps Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian communities access capital, financial services, technical assistance and training commercial.
  • $10 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant.
  • $10 million for the Food Security Micro-Grants Program.
  • $6.75 million for the State of the Birds program, which assesses the condition and health of bird species such as akikiki, iʻiwi and kiwikiu.
  • $5 million for the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Institutions Educational Grant Program.
  • $5 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Native American Outreach, which creates entrepreneurial opportunities and empowerment for Native communities, including Native Hawaiian-owned businesses.
  • $5 million to establish the Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and United States-Affiliated Pacific Islander Veteran Healthcare Center, which will focus on research, data collection and improving practices to better serve these veterans.
  • $4.6 million for Japanese-American Containment Site Grants to preserve historic containment sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II.
  • $3 million for the Travel Reimbursement Program for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.
  • $3.6 billion for homelessness assistance grants.
  • $1 million for the Floriculture and Nursery Initiative, including linguistic research that includes Hawaii-specific needs, such as breeding programs to increase tolerance to pests, diseases, and other impacts of change climatic.
  • $500,000 for the Coffee Plant Health Initiative to combat coffee leaf rust.
  • $500,000 to support the implementation of the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative.

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