OpEd

Hawai’i’s small boat harbors, under the jurisdiction of the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), serve as the ocean gateways for thousands of kamaʿāina and visitors every year. In addition to maintaining 2,000 berths statewide and registering some 12,000 boats, DOBOR and its small boat harbors are used for a large variety of purposes. Boating, obviously, but also snorkeling, diving, touring, fishing and kayaking are among the frequent uses of our sixteen small boat harbors. All of these harbors and their ramps, piers, moorages, wash downs, comfort stations and parking lots require constant maintenance. While many boaters and commercial operators pay fees, any private boat owner can acquire an annual launch ramp decal for $50. These harbors also serve literally, as “safe harbors” during storms. These facilities are constantly exposed to the corrosive effects of salt air and salt water. This means, in addition to regular maintenance, the frequency in which you have to replace structures is greatly accelerated.