DLNR To Replace Buoys Demarking Ala Moana Beach Park Lagoon Stand Up Paddling Corridor July 10-11Posted on Jul 8, 2014 in Announcements
DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
For Immediate News Release July 8, 2014
LAGOON STAND UP PADDLING CORRIDOR JULY 10-11
HONOLULU — Beginning on July 10, 2014, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will be replacing the buoys in the lagoon of Ala Moana Beach Park that demark the stand-up paddleboard corridor. A small team of DLNR employees will be staging on the beach at Magic Island and using a jet ski during the operation. The department asks for the public to cooperate and stay clear of the installation crew while work is in progress.
In May, 2010 a series of seven “spar buoys” was installed between the shoreline and the interior of the reef. In recent years, some of the buoys became saturated with water and failed. The department will install a different style of buoy that has performed well under similar conditions.
The buoys that were installed initially were held in place with concrete anchors weighing approximately 600 pounds nested on sandy areas of the sea floor approximately 80-feet shoreward of the reef in varying depths of water. Between the spar buoys and the buoy weights, tethers constructed of 3/4-inch chain and shackles were installed. DLNR will make use of the existing anchors, chain and shackles to hold round, blue and white buoys in place. The new buoys will be far more resistant to water infiltration that has caused the original spar buoys to sink lower and lower into the water.
Replacement of the buoys demarking the SUP corridor will be a two-day process. The installation crew will be assessing the anchor system on Tuesday, July 10 and making other preparations. Installation of the new buoys will begin and should be completed on Wednesday, July 11.
The calm waters of the lagoon at Ala Moana Beach Park offer ideal conditions for novice paddlers. However, a rapid proliferation of paddleboarding in these waters in 2009 prompted DLNR to seek a way to mitigate the hazards of overcrowding and a mix of uses, most notably, paddling and swimming. DLNR’S Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) formulated a proposed solution to the issue and presented the plan at a public meeting in May 2009 that received wide approval. Installation was completed a year later.
DOBOR, the department’s lead agency on this issue, monitored comments about the use of the corridor when the spar buoys were first installed and because altercations between swimmers and paddlers dropped sharply, the SUP corridor was deemed a success.
“The department would like to remind the public that use of this corridor is not set in rule,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “It was decided early in the development process that establishing rules for this waterway to separate users would somehow limit public access to a very valuable recreational resource.”
“A set of guidelines was introduced when we first installed the buoy system and we appreciate the willingness of the public to adhere to those general guidelines for safety reasons. We also appreciate the willingness of regular users of the lagoon to gently instruct new users in the use of the SUP corridor,” said Aila.
Public Information Specialist