KAILUA-KONA – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is implementing new measures to improve its management of the Kealakekua Bay State Historic Park and better protect the sensitive natural, historic and cultural resources of these treasures of Hawai‘i.
To prevent damage to the shoreline and coral reef and accidental destruction of significant historic and cultural sites by large numbers of visitors, DLNR is now requiring that visitors to the park receive information regarding the sensitive sites and guidance on how to assist in preserving the area during their visit. Effective February 23, 2010 information will be provided through a simple permit system for people seeking to land vessels along the Ka ‘ awaloa shoreline or moor at the wharf adjacent to the Captain Cook Monument in the bay.
“Residents can easily access free education and cultural practices permits that will provide guidance to ensure there is no accidental damage to the cultural sites,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.
“Visitors have guided tours to ensure they appreciate the historical and cultural significance of the areas and eliminate inadvertent damage,” she added.
“In the meantime, the entire bay remains open to all people to enjoy the pristine waters and marine life,” she said.
Signs will be posted at entry locations along the bay to notify people of this system and provide information on how they can obtain a permit.
Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park and Ka ‘ awaloa peninsula within the bay are two of Hawai‘i's most significant historical and cultural locations, with an abundance of fragile and significant archaeological sites.
Ka ‘ awaloa is the shoreline commonly used to access the famous Captain Cook Monument from the bay. Boaters also use this shoreline to beach their vessel before snorkeling at Ka ‘ awaloa Cove.
“We encourage every visitor and resident to enjoy this magnificent area, and to do so responsibly to protect and preserve the corals and marine life and help ensure public safety,” said Deborah Ward, spokesperson for DLNR.
DLNR has conducted recent law enforcement actions at the pier in cooperation with Hawai‘i County Police to address illegal commercial rental of kayaks. Several illegal kayaks have been confiscated.
DLNR is informing kayak rental vendors of the new permit requirement, and requesting that the vendors advise their customers of the landing without a permit restriction.
DLNR Enforcement officers have posted and distributed the same notice at Napo‘opo‘o Pier. DLNR will also implement an outreach plan to kayak and ocean recreation companies, visitor and resident recreational interests.
45 second rip and read: To prevent damage to the Ka‘awaloa shoreline and coral reef and accidental destruction of significant historic and cultural sites by large numbers of visitors, DLNR is now requiring visitors to Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park to receive information and guidance regarding sensitive sites and how to assist in preserving the area during their visit. Information will be provided through a simple permit system for people seeking to land vessels along the Ka ‘ awaloa shoreline or moor at the wharf adjacent to the Captain Cook Monument in the bay. For information on how to obtain a permit contact the State Parks office in Hilo at (808) 974-6200.
How to obtain a kayak or vessel landing permit for Ka ‘ awaloa
DLNR has established a new process to issue kayak or vessel landing permits for Ka‘awaloa that come with special conditions for public users, that are intended to educate and provide guidance to ensure sites are protected.
• When visiting Ka‘awaloa, respect for the land, water and the associated cultural resources is encouraged).
• A separate permit is required for each vessel, and each permit is valid for only one day. The total number of noncommercial general public landing permits to be issued per day is 10.
• Noncommercial landing permits that include these special conditions at Ka‘awaloa are available at: Division of State Parks, Hawai‘i District Office, 75 Aupuni St., Room 204, Hilo, HI. 96729; telephone (808) 974-6200.
• Landing permits will also be available on line at http://www.hawaiistateparks.org under the heading of "Announcements".
• Online permit applications, once filled out and signed, may be either 1) emailed to: Dean.H.Takebayashi@hawaii.gov , 2) mailed to the State Parks Hawai‘i District Office or, 3) faxed to (808) 974-6222. Call the Hilo office at (808) 974-6206 for information.
• Permit applications will be reviewed and upon approval, can be either emailed as a pdf, mailed or faxed back to the respective applicant.
• The DLNR Hawai‘i Division of Conservation and Enforcement will be sent copies of the noncommercial permits upon approval.
• Any person beaching or launching a kayak or other vessel along the Ka ‘ awaloa shoreline or mooring at the wharf adjacent to the Cook Monument, without a permit from the DLNR will be subject to civil penalty, and the kayak or vessel may be subject to confiscation.
An existing State Parks rule (HAR §13-146-13) prohibits landing, operating, leaving unattended, beaching, parking, launching, mooring and anchoring of vessels where prohibited by signage. Under the department’s Civil Resources Penalties System, a first offense may be subject to an administrative fine of up to $30 if promptly responded to, or $60 fine if not responded to promptly. A second offense could be subject to an administrative fine of up to $50 if responded to promptly, or up to $100 if not responded to promptly.