Maui News

New Requirements Aimed at Protecting Sensitive Sites at Kealakekua Bay

February 8, 2010, 8:12 AM HST
* Updated February 8, 3:38 PM
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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 the area.

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 Kaawaloa 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.

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. The same notice has been posted and distributed by DLNR enforcement officers at Napo‘opo‘o Pier.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park and Kaawaloa peninsula within the bay have an abundance of fragile and significant archaeological sites. Kaawaloa is the shoreline commonly used to access the famous Captain Cook Monument from the bay. Boaters also use the shoreline to beach their vessel before snorkeling at Kaawaloa Cove.

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DLNR is informing kayak rental vendors of the new permit requirement, and has also conducted recent law enforcement actions at the pier in cooperation with Hawai‘i County Police to address illegal commercial kayak rentals.

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Placeholder image courtesy: hawaiistateparks.org

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