Big Island Now No. 25 poll results: It will take more than just one solution to restore ocean access in Puna
When asked what Puna’s ocean access priorities were following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, pollsters said it will take more than one solution to address the issue.
While the poll didn’t include a choice to select multiple solutions for the ocean access problem, the clear priority was the dredging of the Pohoiki boat ramp with 147 of the 344 total votes. Dredging work to restore ocean access at the ramp, operated by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating Recreation, could begin as early as February or March of 2024.
At the price tag of $5.4 million, the project will dredge and remove about 42,000 cubic yards of debris and create a 15-foot-wide channel from the end of the currently landlocked boat ramp that would increase to a width of 160 feet where it meets the ocean, with depths from 6 feet at the ramp’s end to 12 feet at its mouth.
Creation of ocean access along the new shoreline came in as the second priority with 86 votes. The state land officials don’t have a current plan to address new ocean access along the shoreline, noting the its difficulty as the shoreline is high sea cliff with rough ocean conditions.
Community members are hoping to create trails and their own ocean access along the new coastline.
The poll did ask about priority of creating safe swim spaces at Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park. It raked in 56 votes.
According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawai‘i County is in discussion with the state agency on determining an appropriate safe swim area location. As of now, the state will not be creating a safe swim area at Pohoiki.
See full poll results below:
- Dredging Pohoiki Boat Ramp 147 (42%)
- Creating ocean access along the new shoreline 86 (25%)
- Creating safe swim spaces at Pohoiki Bay 56 (16%)
- Creating ocean access at ‘Ahalanui Beach Park 35 (10%)
- Access along the shoreline to Cape Kumukahi 20 (5%)
- Total Votes: 344