(BIVN) – The future of Pohoiki was recently discussed by State officials and Puna community members, during a virtual meeting of the Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources.
On February 26, the BLNR was presented three options to restore the boat ramp at Pohoiki Bay, which was blocked by new sand during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea on the lower East Rift Zone. The effort to bring back the boat ramp could take between 9 months and 6 or more years – and cost between $2.5 and $28 million – depending on the which direction the State decides to take.
Finn McCall, engineer for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) presented these three options for reopening the ramp:
Excavation and Dredging
- Removal of apx. 15,000 cubic yards of sand by dredging or excavation
- Placement of sand back on the beach
- Estimated construction cost of $2.5 million
- Construction timeline: approximately 9 months
Entrance Channel Improvements
- Follow-up to dredging and excavation
- Installation of permanent structures to protect entrance channel
- New swim area
- Estimated construction cost of $6 million
- Construction timeline: 2-3 years
New Boat Ramp Facility
- New ramp on new lava flow on the north side of the bay
- Construction of new breakwater, boat ramp, loading dock, trailer turn around & parking area
- Estimated construction cost: $28 million
- Construction timeline: 5-6 years +
The excavation and dredging option is the fastest, and also the least costly, but it is less permanent. The DLNR says all of the options require varying levels of regulatory environmental review and all are dependent on funding. DOBOR says it plans to apply for a funding match from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which might contribute 75% of the construction cost.