Land Board Approves State Boating Rule Changes

September 11, 2017, 8:49 AM HST · Updated September 11, 8:53 AM
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The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved amendments to state boating rules.

Kīhei boat ramp. PC: Hawaiʻi DLNR, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

The changes are intended to improve management of State small boat harbors and ocean recreation-related activities in state waters.

“This extensive rule package contains modifications to multiple rule provisions that we have wanted to make for many years,” says Ed Underwood, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation administrator. “The majority of the rule amendments pertain to organizing the definitions to make them more user-friendly, and reorganizing administrative rule provisions for greater clarity,” Underwood added.

“Facility management and the ocean recreation industry are changing rapidly and we need to better address the way people are using our harbors and the ocean currently. This includes repealing obsolete rules. In all cases, the rules being proposed will allow DOBOR to do its job of managing its facilities and responsibilities more effectively,” Underwood said.

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The board received comment on its 72-hour anchoring rule that will help to better manage offshore moorings, clarify the camping definition, prohibit open containers (alcohol) at boating facilities, and the dive flag rule that will require dive flags to be illuminated at night.

At statewide hearings held in July to present the rules and accept public testimony, DOBOR received numerous comments with the majority related to new rules regarding feral and abandoned animals.

Two new administrative rule sections were approved that prohibit feeding of wildlife or feral animals, and abandoning animals and creating or contributing to colonies at any property under DOBOR jurisdiction. These new sections were added in response to complaints about increased feeding of feral animals at DOBOR facilities, which creates potentially unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

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The proposed revisions and additions will now be submitted to the governor for approval. The rules will become effective and have the force and effect of law 10 days after filing in that office.

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