Meeting to Explore New Puna Boat Ramp

June 24, 2019, 9:30 AM HST (Updated June 28, 2019, 11:41 AM)
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A community meeting will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Sacred Hearts Church Pāhoa, 15-3003 Pāhoa Village Road, to discuss the Puna boat ramp study.

An engineering study commissioned by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation found that it would be “very expensive and full of uncertainties associated with sand movement and costal processes continuing in and around Pohoiki Bay. The study suggests an alternate site, Mālama Flats, which was evaluated in the study.

Mālama Flats is just south of McKenzie State Recreation Area and appears to offer reasonable conditions for design of an inland excavated ramp facility according to the report.

Robert Masuda, first deputy of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, will join the discussion. Rep. Joy San Buenaventura will share information about the 2019 legislative funding for the boat ramp. Councilmember Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder and County of Hawai‘i Research & Development Director Diane Ley will be available to answer questions.

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The 2018 lava disaster has closed the only boat ramp between Hilo and Miloli‘i—a distance of more than 120 miles along the coast. Fish caught using the Puna boat ramp account for more than 30% of the fresh fish caught on the Big Island and its loss has meant higher fish prices statewide.

Big Island fisherman need a Puna boat ramp to assure their continued livelihood and to financially recover from the 2018 disaster, said a June 24 press release from Rep. San Buenaventura’s office.

If you require a sign language interpreter, email your request for an interpreter to [email protected] at least 48 hours prior to the meeting for arrangements. Prompt requests help to ensure the availability of appropriate accommodations.

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