David Y.Ige | DLNR Press Release – STREAMLINED APPLICATION PROCESS FOR POND RESTORATION SEES SUCCESS

0

DLNR Press Release – STREAMLINED APPLICATION PROCESS FOR POND RESTORATION SEES SUCCESS

Posted Jul 20, 2022 in Main

(HONOLULU) – Seven years ago, DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) launched a streamlined app for loko i’a (fish pond) repair and restoration under the program Hoʻāla Loko Iʻa. Since its inception, 20 new fish pond restoration permits have been issued.

The Alakoko Livewell on Kauaʻi, also known as the Menehune Livewell, is a loko iʻa on the Hulēʻia River, approximately 3,280 feet upstream from Nāwiliwili Small Craft Harbor. The 40-acre fish pond is Kaua’i’s largest and is located on private land owned and managed by the non-profit Mālama Hulē’ia Association. The organization was originally formed by a group of canoe paddlers who recognized that mangroves were invading and invading the river and fish pond. The group formed and developed a community project to restore the mangrove.

“Alakoko had really been abandoned and overgrown over the past few decades and the mangroves were growing,” said Sarah Bowen, executive director of Mālama Hulē’ia. “We were able to work with the OCCL to obtain a permit. It was only in the early stages of the new licensing process, developed to help fish-pond practitioners navigate the bureaucratic hoops of a multitude of different state regulatory agencies. Hoʻāla Loko Iʻa gives practitioners the opportunity to submit a permit and have each agency review that permit – it’s truly a blessing for organizations like ours.

So far, Mālama Hulē’ia has removed 26 acres of mangroves from the fish pond. “We were able to access the nearly half-mile-long rock face, but had to work our way through because of the thick mangroves. You couldn’t tell how far you were from the river or how far you were from the fish pond, it was so overgrown. It’s very different now,” Bowen said.

Since the launch of the new permitting process in 2015, the number of fish pond restoration projects has increased significantly. “We started issuing these new permits because we found that practitioners were caught in an endless cycle that they couldn’t get out of,” said OCCL Administrator Michael Cain. “There were 17 different federal, state and county regulations they had to comply with, and it was a nearly impossible system to navigate, resulting in very few permits being sought or approved over several decades. The current permit system encompasses almost all permits required by the state. »

“The program was significantly strengthened when I signed Bill 230, which waived the Health Department water quality certifications for loko that are allowed under the program,” Governor David Ige said. . “Through these and other programs, we are better managing our water resources and coastal ocean waters which provide habitat for spectacular marine life and are a vital cultural link to the past for Native Hawaiians,” added the Minister. Governor Ige.

Fishponds also support local food production and provide important ecosystem services, such as flood mitigation and sediment retention.

Along with the simplified application process, OCCL has created a permit application guide, available online.

# # #

RESOURCES

(All images/videos courtesy of DLNR)

HD Video: Alakoko Fishpond (March 23, 2022):

https://vimeo.com/731205743

(Shooting sheet attached)

Photographs: Alakoko Fishpond (March 23, 2022):

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rtqdnwe2fm490cf/AABb7E_VxtDYcTkVLpE4i9kca?dl=0

Permit Application Guide: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/occl/files/2016/08/Loko-Ia-Book-FINAL-epub-single-080816.pdf

Media contacts:

Madison Rice

Communications Specialist

Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources

[email protected]

808-587-0396

Dan Denison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources

[email protected]

808-587-0396

Share.

Comments are closed.