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First Phase Of Reef Damage Investigation At Keawekapu To Cost $44,000

January 5, 2010, 8:05 AM HST · Updated January 5, 8:05 AM
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By Wendy Osher

The first phase of an investigation into reef damage in South Maui is estimated to cost upwards of $44,000.  The Reimbursable Agreement between the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service calls for an investigation into a mishap last month at the Keawakapu artificial reef off of Maui’s South Shore.

Image Courtesy DLNR.

Click to Enlarge. Image Courtesy DLNR.

During the December 2, 2009 incident, a barge contracted by DLNR and operated by American Marine, offload concrete modules as part of the expansion of the artificial reef.  A portion of the modules were later determined to have landed atop living coral reef, causing an undetermined amount of damage.

The first phase of the investigation is proposed to start this month (in January 2010) and would be conducted using $44,651 in funds provided by the Division of Aquatic Resources.  The cost of the second phase is undetermined, but would run from March 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

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The investigations are aimed at providing information and recommendations to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for possible mitigation measures.  It will also help the department determine emergency mitigation actions, if necessary, to minimize further injury to natural resources.

The Department currently has limited information on the exact location, number, and condition of the modules lying atop live coral at the site.  If the agreement is approved, a final written report on the first phase would be submitted to the DLNR by the end of January 2010.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources is scheduled to review the proposed agreements during their upcoming meeting on Friday in Honolulu.

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