WAILUKU, Hawaii - A proclamation that accepts the Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report was signed by Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa Friday.

The proclamation acknowledges climate change and its impacts, and calls on the planning department to propose rule changes to the Maui, Molokai and Lanai planning commissions to include sea level rise in their shoreline setback calculations.

Additionally, the proclamation directs, “County departments to use the Report in their plans, programs and capital improvement decisions, to mitigate impacts to infrastructure and critical facilities triggered by sea level rise.”

Mayor Arakawa also stated, "This heightened attention on how sea level rise impacts Maui County has the potential to affect communities, culture, history and natural resources and cannot be taken lightly.”

Planners say they have been working for years on asking applicants to move their shorelines projects further back, but could not require it due to previous regulations.

"We will ask our three planning commissions to amend their shoreline rules to include sea level rise in their shoreline setback calculations to further protect shoreline development from coastal hazards,” said Deputy Planning Director Michele McLean.

Maui County is the first in the state to formally accept the report's findings.