Rules Change for Boat Harbors, Facilities & Ocean Waters

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Gov. David Ige approved a comprehensive administrative rule amendment package for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). The amendments cover rules for state small boat harbors, state boating facilities and state ocean waters.

The significant changes made by the newly signed rules include:

  1. Consolidating all definitions in Title 13, Subtitle 11, Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) into HAR § 13-230-8 to reduce confusion and eliminate redundant definitions.
  2. Updating definitions to conform to State statutory language and legal precedent as well as Federal requirements.
  3. Adding two new sections, HAR §§ 13-232-57.1 and 13-232-57.2, which prohibit feeding feral animals at small boat harbors and prohibit abandoning animals at small boat harbors, respectively.
  4. Amending sleeping & camping prohibitions in HAR § 13-232-58 in order to address the issue of people sleeping or camping at small boat harbors and boating facilities when not on board a vessel.
  5. Amending alcohol serving, sale, and consumption rules in HAR § 13-232-60 to facilitate better enforcement of alcohol violations at small boat harbors and boating facilities.
  6. Amending rules to clarify restrictions on anchoring or mooring outside of designated offshore mooring areas under HAR § 13-235-9. Amended language provides that no person shall anchor or moor a vessel in an Ocean Recreation Management Area or non-designated area for more than a cumulative period of 72 hours within any 14-day period.
  7. Updating rules regarding diver’s flags under HAR § 13-245-9 by clarifying applicability to snorkelers, free divers, and SCUBA divers who are not accompanied by a host vessel or who surface more than 100 feet from their host vessel and requiring illumination for a dive flag between sunset and sunrise.
  8. Removing the exemption in HAR § 13-256-3 for vessels operating out of Kewalo Basin from obtaining a commercial use permit or catamaran registration certificate.
  9. Updating HAR § 13-256-5 to increase gross receipt payment amount in subsection (j)(2) from 2% to 3% to conform with Hawaii Revised Statutes.
  10. Updating HAR §§ 13-256-16 & 13-256-17, regarding thrill craft, to require that thrill craft operators must have passed “a state approved course” which would allow operators to choose from a wider selection of certification courses.

DOBOR’s priority is the health and safety of all of the harbor users. DLNR is also looking to protect native and endangered species as feral animals threaten birds, mammals, seals and other fauna. It is important to have a mechanism to address the department’s harbor health and endangered species concerns as necessary.


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