Councilwoman to introduce resolution urging cooperation on Puna boat ramp

Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz said Monday she plans to introduce this week a resolution urging the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation to form a working group with the county, community members and fishing community to plan and develop a boat ramp for Puna.

An existing boat ramp at Pohoiki, the only boat ramp between Hilo and Milolii, closed shortly after Kilauea began erupting in May 2018 and eventually became landlocked by what is now a 200-foot-wide black sand and cobblestone beach.

While it’s technically possible to remove sand and create a channel to the Pohoiki ramp, a recent engineering study commissioned by DLNR, which was released in June, found that effort would be expensive and full of uncertainties associated with sand movement and coastal processes continuing in and around Pohoiki Bay.

Sea Engineering estimates it would cost approximately $37.9 million to restore the existing Pohoiki ramp, while the estimated cost for a new ramp at Malama Flats, an alternative site evaluated in the study, is $14.5 million.

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