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Entry Road to Mahai`ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to Close for Road Repairs

The DLNR Division of State Parks will begin the first of three improvement projects planned for Kekaha Kai State Park on Monday, October 2, 2017 with full closure of the entry road to the Mahaiula section of the North Kona park for planned roadway repair improvements.

Kua Bay

The entry road will be closed on weekdays only from October 2 to November 3, 2017, and will remain open on the weekends during normal park hours.

Construction will include pothole repairs, pavement patching of existing paved areas, placement of new compacted gravel in existing unpaved areas, placement of 2 speed humps for speed mitigation, grading of shoulder areas of the entry road for safe access, and additional parking, signage and security barriers. Project contractor is Isemoto Contracting Co. Inc. and project cost is $408,844.

Two future projects for Kekaha Kai are still pending review and approval by the County of Hawaii. DLNR will provide notice when these projects begin after final approvals are obtained. Full closure of the park will not be required, but certain park areas may be closed due to construction activities taking place.

Planned for the park’s Kua Bay section are: installation of two new rinsing showers, two new accessible picnic tables, a new stairway and railings to replace the existing ramp to the beach, and comfort station improvements.

Also planned for the Mahai’ula section will be: a new storage building for parks staff and supplies, equipment and maintenance materials; repair of existing walkway railings; new accessible picnic table and BBQ pit; and comfort station renovations.

HTA Grant Enables Restoration of 3 Anchialine Pools Within Kekaha Kai State Park

Volunteers are invited to participate in a community workday and free fun activities to help restore the natural ecosystem of three anchialine pools in the Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park on Saturday, July 29. A beach cleanup is also part of the day’s events.

Showing two photographs of the current condition of the pool that is location of restoration work on Saturday, as well as a photograph of what the pool looked like in the 1990s before the tsunami.

The restoration project will involve removing the non-native plant and fish species, built-up sediment, and sand that was deposited as a result of the 2011 tsunami in a portion of the large pool/fishpond located at Ka‘elehuluhulu Beach in the Mahai‘ula section of the park.

The day will feature the first on-site work that has taken place as part of the anchialine pool restoration project made possible by an HTA grant. The work day represents the culmination of two years of planning and preparation for this project

Its purpose is to restore the anchialine pool ecosystems so that the native red shrimp (‘opae‘ula) can return to the anchialine pools. Guppies and sediment are currently preventing the opae’ula from living in the pools.

The DLNR Division of State Parks was awarded a $10,000 grant by the HTA Natural Resources Program grant that is administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the restoration project. Grant money will also be used to develop educational materials related to the anchialine pools so that they can be used to teach school groups about the pools while on field trips to the park.

Future community work days like the one on Saturday will be scheduled.  Division of State Parks also plans to partner with a few local schools to teach students about anchialine pools and get them involved in the restoration efforts

Schedule for the day and directions:

  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – sign-in with morning coffee courtesy Kona Coffee and Tea
  • 8 to 9 a.m. – morning beach yoga with Alyssa from Soul Shape Yoga
  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – anchialine pool restoration work
  • 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. – potluck lunch – bring a dish to share
  • 12:30 to 3 p.m. – beach cleanup with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Slackline fun with Jesse from SlackHi

Directions: take the road to Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to the parking lot at the very end of the road. Bring water and reef-safe sunscreen. Gloves and equipment will be provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle, potluck dish and beach chair.

Mahalo for support from:  Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, Soul Shape Yoga, Hawai‘i Kombucha, Kona Coffee & Tea, and Slackline fun.

For more information call Dena Sedar, Division of State Parks at (808) 209-0977.

DLNR Closing Three Parks Early on Fourth of July

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks will conduct early closures of three parks on the Fourth of July holiday.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area (including the Waialea Bay section), Kekaha Kai State Park (including the Maniniowali Beach / Kua Bay and Mahaiula Beach sections) and Kiholo State Park reserve will close at 5 p.m. July 4, 2014.

“We are closing these facilities early to discourage use of fireworks, which is prohibited in state parks, and to protect the public and natural resources of the areas,”said DLNR Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr.

Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay

Normal park hours will resume on Saturday, July 5, 2014, as follows:

  • Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area –7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Kekaha Kai State Park –9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Kiholo State Park reserve –7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As a reminder, tents may not be set up at Wailoa River State Park in Hilo without a permit.

DLNR Repairs at Kekaha Kai State Park Begin Monday

Starting Monday, April 8, 2013, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will begin repair work on the entry road to the Mahaiula section of Kekaha Kai State Park, necessitating weekday closures. This work is anticipated to take three to four weeks and will consist of pothole and sectional filling and laying compacted gravel on the roadway surface. This park section will be closed on weekdays from April 8 to May 3, 2013, but reopened on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) during this period.

Kekaha Kai

Starting in May, work will begin in the Maniniowali or Kua Bay section of the park. A new outdoor rinsing shower will be constructed, and waterline improvements made. The project is expected to be completed by July 2013 or sooner as conditions allow. This park section will be open but there will be construction activities near the parking area and the pathway leading to the beach. Appropriate safety barriers and practices will be implemented.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of visitors and residents using the park during this needed repair project. Kekaha Kai State Park provides unique recreational opportunities and is a popular destination for all users,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

The contractor is George M. Oye, Inc., and the project cost is $188,000.

Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Hwy. 19), 2.6 miles north of Keahole Airport. Separate 1.5 mile access roads from the highway lead to the Mahaiula (unpaved) and Maniniowali (Kua Bay) sections of the park. The Mahaiula section has a sandy beach and dune with opportunities for swimming and beach-related activities. A picnic area with tables is available. A 4.5-mile hike north through this wilderness park on the historic coastal trail, Ala Kahakai, leads to the Kua Bay section at the north end of park and beach-related activities. Midway, a hike to the summit of Puu Kuili, a 342-foot high cinder cone, offers an excellent view of the coastline. The park can be dry and hot, and is equipped with restrooms, picnic tables, and trash cans, but no drinking water. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

House Passes Bills Supporting Big Island Initiatives

Legislation Introduced by Big Island Lawmakers Now Move to the Senate

Several bills that deal specifically with issues of concern to Big Island residents passed their final vote in the House today and will be sent to the Senate for their consideration.

capital

Included are:

HB 417 HD2 seeks to address the shortage of primary care providers and improve access to healthcare in general by appropriating funds for the interdisciplinary Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program at Hilo Medical Center.

HB 414 HD2 would establish a Waipio Valley Commission to advise the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) on the development of a long term plan to ensure the proper stewardship and maintenance of Waipio Valley. The bill also appropriates funds to conduct a flood study and propose flood mitigation methods for the valley.

HB 20 HD1 seeks to protect public health and safety at Kua Bay, Kekaha Kai State Park, by appropriating funds for the employment of lifeguards.

HB 106 HD2 proposes to provide a detailed permitting process for geothermal resources development that, among other things, explicitly authorizes the counties to establish more stringent ordinances on geothermal development.

The Big Island  Representatives  (Rep. Mark Nakashima, Rep. Clift Tsuji, Rep. Richard Onishi, Rep. Faye Hanohano, Rep. Denny Coffman, Rep. Nicole Lowen and Rep Cindy Evans)said they were pleased that the measures were approved by the House, “these bills protect the environment and resources of our island and provide for the health and safety of our residents,” they said.

DLNR to Close Hapuna and Kekaha Kai State Park Early On New Year’s Eve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will close Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area and Kekaha Kai State Park early on New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, 2012.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach SRA, including the Waialea Bay section, and Kekaha Kai State Park, including the Manini‘owali (Kua Bay) and Mahaiula sections, will both close at 5:00 p.m. “We are closing the park early to discourage use of fireworks, which is prohibited in state parks, and to protect the public and natural resources of the area,” said DLNR Chairperson, William J. Aila, Jr.

Normal park hours will resume on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 as follows: Kekaha Kai State Park – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Hapuna Beach and Kekaha Kai State Park Closing Early Tomorrow, July 4th

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will close Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area and Kekaha Kai State Park at 5 p.m. tomorrow, July 4.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach SRA, including the Waialea Bay section, and Kekaha Kai State Park, including the Manini‘owali (Kua Bay) and Mahaiula sections, will both close early.

“We are closing the park early to discourage use of fireworks, which is prohibited in state parks, and to protect the public and natural resources of the area,” said DLNR Chairperson, William J. Aila, Jr.  Normal park hours will resume on Thursday, July 5 2012 as follows: Kekaha Kai State Park – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.