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February 2016

National Wildlife Refuge to Get a New Outlook

A view of the Hanalei Valley.

Consider adding another must-see to your next Hawaiian vacation itinerary. Surrounded by lush hilltops and waterfalls, the 917-acre Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) blankets the Hanalei River Valley and scenic north shore region of Kauai.

Established in 1972 under the Endangered Species Act, Hanalei is the oldest of Kauai’s three national wildlife refuges and furnishes critical nesting and feeding habitat to endangered resident and migratory water birds. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the NWR ranges from 20 to 40 feet above sea level. Water from the Hanalei River irrigates approximately 75 acres of the wetland areas, 180 acres of taro patches, and 90 acres of wet pasture before returning to the river.

In with the New and Out with the Old

The bubble curtain is part of the blast attenuation system that creates a barrier of bubbles to lessen the shock of implosion, helping protect marine wildlife.

When the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge began showing wear, tear, and ultimately unsafe conditions, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) decided it was time for a replacement. Dubbed the Old Bay Bridge by Caltrans, its capacity was also in question, and it was in dire need of seismic updates. While the new bridge was constructed, the Old Bay Bridge awaited its fate. The day of 14 November 2015 marked the beginning of the end as Pier E3, the largest support pier of the bridge’s east span at 80- by 140 feet, was demolished—with a bang.