12/28/23 – PATROLS AT AHU O LAKA DETER ILLEGAL BONFIRESPosted on Dec 28, 2023 in DOCARE, Main, News Releases, slider
|JOSH GREEN, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 28, 2023
PATROLS AT AHU O LAKA DETER ILLEGAL BONFIRES
(HONOLULU) – Officers with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) will be on patrol over the New Year’s holiday to enforce the law and protect the environment, including the sacred Ahu o Laka (Kāne‘ohe Bay sandbar).
For some, illicit Christmas tree burning at the sandbar was an annual, post-holiday tradition.
This unlawful practice has subsided over the last few years, in part from a better community understanding of its negative environmental effects, and from the presence of DOCARE officers patrolling the area after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
“Public awareness that this activity violates laws and rules and causes harm to the surrounding marine ecosystem has increased, and we’re encouraged by the recent trend to comply with the rules,” said DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla. “We’ve posted officers on shore and on the water in the past, to make checks and deter illegal activity, and will do so again this year.”
Ahu o Laka carries a rich cultural significance for many Native Hawaiians and area residents. It’s also a popular recreational destination for boating, snorkeling, and kayaking. Additionally, it is a state wildlife sanctuary – a natural, historical resource that’s home to a diverse community of fish, corals, and other marine life. Preserving and protecting this special, shared resource is a cooperative effort that takes many hands.
While DOCARE officers will have a presence at Kāne’ohe Bay to enforce the law, they cannot safeguard the area and tend to the rest of the island without community support. Officers rely heavily on reporting of natural and cultural resource violations by people who witness them. Help DOCARE protect Hawai‘i’s resources by reporting incidents at: 643-DLNR (3567) or via the free DLNRTip app.
# # #
(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
HD Video – Ahu o Laka DOCARE Patrol (Jan. 7, 2022):
Photographs – Ahu o Laka DOCARE Patrol (Jan. 7, 2022):
Hawai‘i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources