East Hawaii News

State Seeking Input on Placement of Hilo Bay Mooring Buoys

April 10, 2013, 4:36 PM HST
* Updated April 10, 4:41 PM
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A meeting will be held next week in Hilo to allow public feedback on the placement of day-use moorings in Hilo Bay.

The meeting, the first of two to be held on the subject, is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor conference rooms of the state building at 75 Aupuni St.

Staff from the Department of Land and Natural Resources will be on hand to describe the mooring program and present a draft list of mooring buoy locations. The department is seeking public input to develop a priority ranking for the buoys.

The day-use moorings are being installed as part of a plan to mitigate damage to coral. The plan was established by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a component of the dredging of the Hilo harbor channel by the state Department of Transportation.

DLNR officials said because of a lack of requests for their deployment, the need for mooring buoys in the Hilo area was not previously recognized.

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However, surveys of Blonde Reef have revealed a variety of abandoned anchors littering the bottom which indicated the need for buoys to protect coral.

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Those who frequent Hilo Bay – especially Blonde Reef, upon which the breakwater is built – are encouraged to attend, DLNR officials said. Those users include boaters, commercial dive operators, fishers, canoe paddlers, jet skiers, divers and sailors.

The participation of a variety of users of the bay is important to coordinate the location of the moorings, officials said.

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