12/31/15 – DLNR Announces Representatives For Maunalua Bay Ocean Recreation Advisory Committee

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 in Boating & Ocean Recreations, News Releases

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR
SUZANNE D. CASE
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release December 31, 2015   

DLNR ANNOUNCES REPRESENTATIVES FOR MAUNALUA BAY
OCEAN RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

HONOLULU —  The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has tallied community votes for the representatives who will serve on the Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee.  DOBOR is establishing a community advisory committee for Maunalua Bay ocean users as a forum to provide input on the regulation and management of recreation activities in the bay.  Selected representatives, by user categories will be:

Diving:             Sam Montgomery

Fishing:           Makani Christensen

Paddling:         Dani Loui

Residents:       Ann-Marie Kirk

Surfing:            Linda Krieger

Thrill Craft:      Jeffery Krantz

 

The first council meeting will be held in April 2016. The exact date, time, and location will be provided 30 days in advance via public notice.

Meeting minutes will be available on the DOBOR website (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/meetings/) within 30 days after each meeting.  

Interested persons may sign up for notifications regarding the M-RAC by going to http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/mrac/.  The public is invited to attend the meeting to meet the representatives and provide input on the long and short term goals of the M-RAC.

For more information, visit the Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee (M-RAC) web page at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/maunalua-bay-recreation-advisory-committee-m-rac/

The website Q&A section explains how the advisory committee was formed, how interested people can be involved in the process of generating reports and recommendations to DOBOR, and describes the qualifications and duties of its members. DOBOR hopes that the M-RAC will provide community input in the interest of safe ocean recreation in Maunalua Bay.

 

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Media Contact:

Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320

 

FACT SHEET ABOUT THE MAUNALUA BAY RECREATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/maunalua-bay-recreation-advisory-committee-m-rac/

  1. What is the Purpose of Forming a Recreation Advisory Committee (“M-RAC”)?

The purpose of forming an M-RAC is to have a framework in place to solicit public input on DOBOR rules for ocean recreation in Maunalua Bay. The M-RAC will be given short term (six months), mid-range (1-3 years), and long-term (ongoing) goals which they will work with DOBOR and the Maunalua Bay community to accomplish.

 

  1. How many committee members will the M-RAC have and what user groups will they represent?

The M-RAC will consist of six members, representing the recreational interests, for both commercial and non-commercial constituents, of each of the following groups:

  • Surfing (all types)
  • Fishing (all types)
  • Paddling (all types)
  • Thrill craft (Commercial)
  • Dive (Commercial)
  • Bay resident

 

  1. How did DOBOR decide what user groups should be represented on the M-RAC?

The categories of user groups selected to be represented on the M-RAC were chosen based on the primary conflicting ocean recreation uses in Maunalua Bay. DOBOR is a state agency charged with maintain ocean safety and minimizing user conflict and therefore we chose membership representation based on ocean uses as opposed to representation based on location (i.e. neighborhoods) or other group affiliations (i.e. non-profit membership).

 

  1. What if I have an interest in Maunalua Bay that is not represented by the six user groups on the M-RAC?

DOBOR recognizes that the recreational and residential uses of the bay are many and varied. However, DOBOR rules apply mainly to regulation of ocean recreation activities as well as commercial activity within the bay. For this reason, the six main user groups for the M-RAC were selected based on ocean recreation activities which DOBOR regulates.

 

To ensure that other users and residents of Maunalua Bay will also be able to provide their input and feedback, the M-RAC recommendations will be posted for review on the DOBOR website at least 1 week before each M-RAC general meeting. Meetings are public, and other users can contribute their comments on any M-RAC recommendations regarding ocean recreation activities and uses in Maunalua Bay.

 

However, some uses of the bay are not governed by state boating rules, and may be under the purview of a different state or federal agency, such as controlling invasive algae etc. DOBOR works cooperatively with other state and federal agencies but cannot made decisions or rules regarding issues outside its jurisdiction.  

 

  1. How are M-RAC members selected?

M-RAC members will be selected by a 2 step voting process:

  • Step 1 (July 1, 2015 – July 7, 2015): Participants will nominate individuals (either themselves or others) whom they think would make good M-RAC members. Participants will nominate members according to the ocean recreation interest which they indicated represents their interest and state why they think they would make a good representative of all interests (all types and both commercial and non-commercial) in that user group. From these nominees, the three eligible individuals with the most nominations who confirm they wish to serve as RAC members will be selected. The top three nominees will be asked to submit a brief biographical sketch of themselves that includes the years of experience in their area of expertise, their community affiliations, and an explanation of how they will communicate with their constituents.
  • Step 2 (7/27 – 7/31): DOBOR will send out a second survey listing the names and including a biographical sketch. From these nominees, participants will vote for the individual they feel is best suited to serve as a member of the M-RAC.

 

  1. What qualifications should a M-RAC member possess?

A M-RAC member should be able to work diplomatically with all individuals (all forms, commercial and non-commercial interests) in their user group and represent a moderate viewpoint. M-RAC members should have a minimum of three years’ experience in their area of expertise as well as local knowledge of Maunalua Bay specifically.

M-RAC members will be asked to work with individuals in their recreation group who may have differing views or use resources or recreate in a different manner that the M-RAC member. The M-RAC member should strive to represent the broadest range of viewpoints possible pertaining to their type of ocean recreation so that DOBOR can make informed decisions regarding permitting or rule revisions.

If a nominee also is employed in a state, federal or county position that involves regulations Maunalaua Bay, DOBOR may find that the nominee would ineligible to serve on the M-RAC if it would present a conflict of interest.

 

  1. Which M-RAC members should I vote for?

The goal is that you will vote in the user group category that represents the type of recreational interest you have in the bay. We recognize that categories such as “fishing” may be broad, but once a M-RAC member is selected, they will reach out to and represent the view of the subcategories within the bay to the best extent possible.

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  1. If I feel I have more than one type of ocean recreation interest in Maunalua Bay, can I vote for more than one of the M-RAC member positions?

Yes. You are welcome to participate in as many of the ocean recreation categories as you wish. However, we ask that you decide carefully which categories you wish to vote for so that you can also participate actively in future outreach by M-RAC members to all the individuals who sign up to receive notifications for a particular ocean recreation interest.

 

  1. How often will the M-RAC meet and what are they expected to produce?

The M-RAC will meet on an as-needed basis to provide reports on specific issues as directed by DOBOR. The M-RAC will be asked to produce reports summarizing general public sentiment and providing specific recommendations as to each user group’s suggested modifications to ocean recreation in their area of expertise.

Any recommendations made by the M-RAC will be available for public comment before being submitted to DOBOR for consideration. Recommendations and reports of the M-RAC will be posted on the DOBOR website.

 

  1. What is the hourly commitment for a member of the M-RAC?

The hourly time commitment for a M-RAC member will vary depending on whether there is a relevant rule or guideline that DOBOR is asking the M-RAC to provide input on.  In the beginning, the M-RAC members may have to put in a greater number of hours (approx. 10hrs/wk) in order to establish communication with their constituents, set up public meeting times, and formalize a communication process with their constituents and DOBOR. DOBOR will share the list of names and email addresses of the community members who signed up with DOBOR to be a part of this process. DOBOR expects the RAC member to communicate, listen, and summarize all positions of their group.

 

  1. Are M-RAC members compensated?

No. M-RAC member’s serve in a voluntary capacity and receive no compensation.

 

  1. How long do M-RAC members serve?

M-RAC members will serve for a term of three years and may be re-elected.

 

  1. What is the procedure to replace an M-RAC member can no longer serve?

If a M-RAC member can no longer serve, DOBOR will reinitiate the two-step nomination and voting process for that particular position.

 

  1. What if the M-RAC member selected is only an advocate for one type of recreational use? Or, what if they do not communicate well with their constituents? What redress does the community have to select a new M-RAC member?

If an M-RAC member is not able to provide a well-rounded representation of their constituents, DOBOR will first attempt to work with the M-RAC member to assist them with methodologies to maintain better communication and provide a stronger representation of all the viewpoints of constituents.

 

  1. What if I have an interest in Maunalua Bay that is not represented by the six user groups on the M-RAC?

DOBOR recognizes that the recreational and residential uses of the bay are many and varied. However, DOBOR rules apply mainly to regulation of ocean recreation activities as well as commercial activity within the bay. For this reason, the six main user groups for the M-RAC were selected based on ocean recreation activities which DOBOR regulates.

This does not mean that other users and residents of Maunalua Bay will not be able to provide input and feedback as part of the M-RAC recommendations. The recommendations will be made public on the DOBOR website at least one week before the M-RAC meets at a general meeting to which all interested parties are invited. At the meeting other users can contribute their views and testimony on the M-RAC recommendations and comment on how they impact other activities and uses for Maunalua Bay.

Additionally, some uses of the bay are not governed by DOBOR rules and may be under the purview of a different state or federal agency, such as controlling invasive algae etc. DOBOR works cooperatively with other state and federal agencies but cannot made decisions or rules regarding issues outside DOBOR jurisdiction.  

 

  1. What power does the M-RAC have to change DOBOR rules?

The recommendations of the M-RAC will be taken into consideration by DOBOR when deciding whether to modify existing rules or implement new ones. However, the M-RAC acts only in an advisory capacity and DOBOR is not obligated to follow M-RAC recommendations. DOBOR is first and foremost required to consider safety and equity for all ocean users as well as the minimization of user conflicts.

 

  1. Does the M-RAC have any say regarding issuance of commercial permits?

If asked by DOBOR, the M-RAC can suggest restrictions or revisions to commercial permits for a specific purpose.