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Pohoiki Boat Ramp Dredging Plan Tentatively Set

8:54 PM · Apr 21, 2021

It has been well over two years since sand inundated the boat ramp at Pohoiki beach, blocking access for fisherman and rescue operations alike. Frustrations are high after yesterday DLNR revealed the tentative timeline for dredging at Pohoiki would not begin until late 2022, at the earliest—over four years after the ramp was closed. To find out more about the delay I reached out to Finn McCall of DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation for further comment. “When we found out recently that FEMA would absolutely not approve the project without doing the Environmental Assessment [EA], I was just as frustrated as I am sure everyone else is,” said McCall. “If they had told us from the very beginning when we started going over this project, then we could have just said ‘ok, lets get this EA out of the way.’ Instead, we’ve tried all these different ways to get an EA exemption, and then we get to this point where FEMA finally says that we have to do an EA or we’re not eligible. I totally understand everyone’s frustrations, and I’m just as frustrated.” In yesterday’s meeting with the County Council Committee on Governmental Operations, Relations and Economic Development, DLNR revealed a rough timeline for dredging Pohoiki. However, it has also been revealed that FEMA will require an EA before funding will be delegated for the dredging of Pohoiki, creating significant delays in something previously not considered a requirement. The tentative plan for construction ground breaking at Pohoiki boat ramp is late 2022 at the earliest, potentially finishing construction by late 2023. Here is what the rough timetable looks like: - Complete Environmental Assessment: 6-9 months - Design and Permitting: 9 months - Dredge and Installation of Protective Channel Layer: 9 months Total project estimate: 24-27 months, at a cost of roughly $3.5 million with FEMA covering 75% of the expense. Finn McCall and First Deputy Director Bob Masuda also confirmed that to obtain the necessary funding from FEMA they will need to show (once again) that the State has explored alternative sites along the Puna coastline as a requirement in the EA. “I don’t know why they’re making us do this, when we know the only option is Pohoiki,” Bob Masuda said.

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Why it would be necessary to show again that alternative solutions were explored is beyond me. Maybe they can just submit the same paperwork again?

Apr 21, 2021

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Originally, the alternatives explored by Sea Engineering for DLNR. Then DLNR found a new consultant and they said with FEMA that what was done wouldn't be enough. So got to go back and do the assessments to FEMA specs.

Apr 21, 2021

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