Kahoolawe kähō´ōlä´vā, –wā, kähō´lä´– [key], uninhabited island, 45 sq mi (117 sq km), central Hawaii; separated from Maui island to the NE by Alalakeiki Channel. The low island, dotted with many archaeological sites, served as a prison and as a military target range. In 1994 the federal government returned Kahoolawe to the state, but until 2003 the U.S. Navy continued to control access to the island while it removed unexploded ordnance. The island and its waters are managed by the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, and are held in trust for a future sovereign Native Hawaiian entity.
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