Friday, April 3, 2009

Kaneohe Bay Regional Council (KBRC) Meeting held on 4/2/09

Kaneohe Bay Regional Council (KBRC) Meeting held on 4/2/09

Old business discussed included the status of attempts to regulate aquarium fishing in Kaneohe Bay and problems related to boats hit submerged reefs with subsequent damage to both the boats and to the coral reef.

KBRC has in the past urged DLNR to develop a plan to mark the reefs so that boaters can be alerted to danger. The old marker placed by boaters years ago are largely rusted away.

The Department of Aquatic Resources testified that the permitting process is too complex and that planning to mark the many reeves in the bay is impossible both because of legal liability issues and lack of personnel. DOAR stated that several plans have been developed in the past, but no have ever been recommend for inclusion in an administration budget. Several members indicated an on interest in working with local grantors to secure planning money. Our recreational boating representative testified that boat impact on reefs in Kaneohe Bay are common and that damage to the reef is increasing as more and more boaters use the bay.

We received testimony regarding DLNR's efforts to manage aquarium fishing. They stated that because of the economy the market for aquarium fish has deteriorate and aquarium fishing has been substantially reduced throughout the state. There are two serious aquarium fishers who operate in the Bay when it is to rough to go outside. We also received testimony that development of any rule impacting a business is a mute point because the Governor as told the Departments that she will not approve any rule which adversely effects business in the critical economic time.

Under new business:

KBRC passed a resolution reaffirming the Kaneohe Bay Master Plans position to preserve Conservation District lands.

KBRC voted to support a proposal by Mahuahua `Ai O Hoi to Restore an Hawaii Estuary in He`eia wetland. He`eia Stream is the last stream with in the Southern Bay ahuapua`as that is largely from of channelization and which provides a free aquatic corridor from the palis of Haiku Valley to the ocean. Mahuahua `Ai O Hoi wants to develop a large part of the He`eia wetland using the model that has been developed in the Hanalei Valley on Kauai.

We voted to oppose any legislation which will sunset KBRC. HB586 HD1 SD1 will sunset KBRC as of July 1, 2009. The Sunshine Law prevented us from taking action earlier, but now we are officially contacting our legislators to express our opposition to the bill.

There has been a proposal in the legislature to disband the Office of Planning(OSP) and incorporate the responsibilities and programs of OSP into other government agencies. KBRC voted to support maintaining OSP as an independent organization affiliated with DBEDT for administrative support. At the time the bill was placed on our agenda the legislation was to terminate OSP. However, at the time of our meeting Representative Ito gutted the legislation and inserted wording from a stalled bill which will provide for a moratorium on construction on Kailua Bay until the effects of beach erosion can be determined. The bill now has to go to conference and with such huge differences it may never leave committee.


Anonymous said...

Representative Ito was part of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board when the KBTask Force was created; he supported it and continues to support it.

A moritorium to prevent building on Kailua Beach is a good thing to do. A study of beach erosion is very important to beach goers like me.

Keep up the good work, Rep. Ken Ito.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, I meant Rep. Ito continues to support the KB Regional Council. It was he who is responsible for questioning why KBRC members are not attending meetings so action can be taken...ruffled someone's feathers I see!