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Archive of Prominent Section 106 Cases:
Hawaii: Management and Redevelopment at Pearl Harbor Naval Complex/Navy Region Hawaii

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Agency: U.S. Navy

Criteria for Council Involvement:

  • The Navy's management and redevelopment activities in Hawaii have the potential to adversely affect a large number of historic properties, including the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (Criterion 1).

  • Proposed development of a Programmatic Agreement will alter the way the Section 106 process is applied to management activities at the Naval Region Hawaii (Criterion 2).

Recent Developments

The Navy convened a meeting in December 2000 with the Council, the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the National Park Service (NPS), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Historic Hawaii Foundation to develop a Programmatic Agreement (PA) for management of all properties within the Navy Region Hawaii. The Navy invited four additional parties, the Oahu Council of Hawaii Civic Clubs, the Outdoor Circle, the Missouri Memorial Association, and the Bowfin Association, to participate.

Main shipyard building, Pearl Harbor

Main shipyard building, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

The PA will apply not only to the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex (including the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility) but also to outlying naval installations on Oahu and the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai. A final draft of the PA is circulating for comment.

The PA specifically excludes the Ford Island redevelopment project, and consultation on this project is expected to begin soon. Because of the Navy’s Ford Island redevelopment plans, NPS recently named Naval Base Pearl Harbor to its list of threatened National Historic Landmarks. It is anticipated that further national attention will be focused on this historic property when a major movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor opens this spring and the 60th anniversary of the attack is celebrated on December 7, 2001.


The Pearl Harbor Naval Complex is the Navy's largest and most strategic base in the Pacific. Encompassing more than 12,600 acres of land and water, it serves as the headquarters of five major fleet commands. More than 1,200 of the buildings and structures constructed during the base's 100-year history are included in the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark (NHL), which was designated in 1964.

The NHL designation commemorates the 1941 Japanese attack on the base which propelled the United States into World War II, as well as the strategic role the base has played through time in the Pacific. In addition, the base contains important Native Hawaiian archeological sites, including traditional stone-walled fishponds. (For more information on historic properties at Pearl Harbor, visit the "virtual tour" of Pearl Harbor.)

The Navy, Hawaii SHPO, and the Council entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the management of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex in 1979. The agreement is more than 20 years old and, measured against today's standards, including 1997 Navy guidance on planning for historic properties, needs to be updated and improved.

Although the MOA called for periodic reviews, none were initiated, and properties were not re-evaluated to determine if their management by the Navy was still appropriate. Moreover, the MOA provided no opportunity for public involvement, included no provisions regarding archeology, and contained vague treatment standards.

Of particular concern, the MOA virtually excluded the Council from any review role, contrary to the 1992 amendment of Section 110(f) of the National Historic Preservation Act, which calls for Council participation in review of activities affecting NHLs.

Problems with the 1979 MOA were highlighted by the Navy's 1998 plans for the redevelopment of Ford Island. Ford Island is located in the harbor and contains buildings and structures associated with its historic use as officer housing and a naval air station. The island was, traditionally, accessible only by ferry, but in 1998 a bridge opened between the island and the mainland.

That access will facilitate a proposed $500 million master plan that, as originally proposed, would include 600 homes for Navy personnel, a Navy museum, and other development. (For more information on the proposed Ford Island redevelopment, visit the Ford Island development Web site.)

At the February 1999 Council meeting in Hawaii, Council members gained first-hand understanding of the complexities of the Navy's Ford Island plans, as well as the Navy's challenges in managing numerous obsolete and deteriorated facilities within the Naval Complex.

Concern voiced by the Council members has resulted in the Navy's willingness to revisit the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex MOA and expand its scope. In connection with the development of the PA, the Navy is preparing an Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) that will be implemented by the PA upon its acceptance by the consulting parties.

Additionally, the Navy has opened parallel discussions regarding the redevelopment of Ford Island and has focused the efforts of its ICRMP planning team on the island's resources in order to assist in this consultation.

March 2000 report on this case

Staff contact: Lee Keatinge

Posted March 21, 2001

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