(BIVN) – A Kona representative in the Hawaiʻi State House is asking Governor David Ige and Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim to coordinate on COVID-19 related beach park closures on the Big Island.
“On Big Island, everyone is confused about what is open since all other counties have all made recent changes. People are going to the beach anyway, despite the standing order that they are only open for ocean access and exercising,” posted Rep. Nicole Lowen on Facebook. “This situation requires adaptive management and it is time to reassess & clarify the beach/park situation for your constituents.”
Lowen shared a similar message on Twitter, where she added: “Let kamaaina enjoy beaches w/o tourists for a time, w/ safe social distancing. The longer they’re closed, the more crowds when they open.”
Governor Ige’s 7th supplementary proclamation allowed “outdoor exercise activities, including ocean activities such as surfing and swimming, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained”.
It also stated this on beaches:
Beach Closures. All beaches in Hawaiʻi are hereby closed. No person shall sit, stand, lie down, lounge, sunbathe, or loiter on any beach or sand bar in Hawaiʻi, except as allowed in Section III.C.4 below and when:
a. transiting across or through beaches to access the ocean waters for outdoor exercise purposes, such as surfing, solo paddling, and swimming, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained;
b. running, jogging, or walking on the beach, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.
However, the state did reopen “select parks and monuments across the state with an emphasis on social distancing and exercise, and continued restrictions on gatherings of any sort,” including Kiholo SPR, Hāpuna Beach SRA.
Here is what the most recent Hawaiʻi County rule no. 4 stated on the subject of beaches:
All County of Hawaiʻi parks and recreational facilities: ( 1) listed specifically in Hawaii County Code, Chapter 15 Parks & Recreation, Article 3, Section 15- 68. 1 Parks and recreational facility schedule,” or( 2) as defined by Hawaiʻi County Code, Chapter 15, Article 1, Section 15-3 as a ” park area” or” recreational area” are closed. In addition, all permits and reservations for use associated with these parks and recreational facilities are canceled through May 31, 2020.
The county also stated: To allow passage for the specific purposes of: 1) direct access to and from the ocean and shoreline in order to engage in outdoor exercise; 2) fishing for and gathering food; and 3) use of restroom and shower facilities, the following County parks are available daily, from 7 a.m. through 5 p. m.
- Kahaluʻu Beach Park
- Magic Sands Beach Park
- Waiʻaha Bay Beach Park (Honl’ s)
- Kawaihae Canoe Area
- Honoliʻi Beach Park
- Kaipalaoa Landing Beach Park
- Bayfront Beach Park
- Reed’s Bay Beach Park
- Liliʻuokalani Gardens
- Richardson Ocean Park
- Carlsmith Beach Park
- Mahukona Wharf (does not include the park section)