Covid-19 – DOBOR Response

 

Covid-19 artist rendering

Covid-19 artist rendering

OCEAN/HARBOR USERS AND TENANTS

To inhibit the spread of Covid-19, the following preventive measures have been put in place, effective immediately, and will remain in effect until further notice:

  • All DOBOR facilities are open to the public as of 6/4/20 but visitors are required to adhere to safety requirements. Emergency rules imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic for boating and commercial ocean recreation remain in effect.
  • Payment for monthly mooring fees can be mailed to the appropriate harbor office.
  • Vessel registration and vessel transfers can be made in person at DOBOR District offices and at the wailoa SBH Office in Hilo but visitors must follow posted safety guidelines. Vessel registration/transfers can also be made via mail to DLNR/DOBOR, Vessel Registration Branch, 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819.  Re-registration can be done via DOBOR’s online vessel registration system https://vessel.ehawaii.gov.  Owners of vessels 26′ and over may need to submit proof of insurance to unlock their accounts to re-register on-line. For details, email [email protected].

The public may call the appropriate district and harbor offices with questions and monitor the DOBOR web site at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/ for updates.

 

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Most recent updates to this page:

6/30/20

Q4 and Q8 Recreational and commercial vessels can now carry up to 50% of their capacity.  Social distancing and sanitation requirements for commercial vessels still apply.   Read the press release issued by DLNR.

 

6/19/20

Q1. DOBOR will resume issuing Marine Event Permits. 

 

6/13/20

Oahu offshore islands Mokuauia, Popoia, Kapapa, and the Mokulua Islands have reopened for RESTRICTED access. 

 

6/12/20

DOBOR Hilo office is open for business even though State building in Hilo is closed. 

DOBOR Incoming Vessel Declaration form has been updated.

 

6/3/20

All DOBOR facilities are open to the public.  Visitors must wear a mask.  Only one visitor may enter a lobby at a time.  Social distancing is required.  PLEASE READ ALL POSTS AT DOBOR FACILITIES BEFORE ENTERING. THESE SAFEGUARDS ARE IN PLACE FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF DOBOR STAFF.

Emergency rule restricting number of passengers on a single boat has been revised.  

Commercial Vessel and Commercial Watersports permittees may resume operation, provided that all requirements are met. 

 

5/18/20

Prohibition on landing on Ahu O Laka (aka the Sandbar, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu) has been lifted.  Vessels visiting Ahu O Laka MUST moor at least 20 feet apart.  All visitors MUST practice social distancing AND adhere to safety guidelines according to published requirements. 

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE
DOBOR SHUTDOWN DUE TO COVID-19

GENERAL INFO

Q1. What is the current status of Marine Event Permits?  Is DOBOR accepting applications now that things are opening up again?

DOBOR will resume issuing Marine Event Permits. Applications can be found on the DOBOR form page.  As a condition of these permits, event organizers must adhere to all existing State and County (Covid-19) requirements for boating and gatherings on land. 

 

Q1. Access to Ahu O Laka (aka the Sandbar in Kaneohe Bay, waters off Oahu) has been restored.  What about any of the offshore islands.

All of the O‘ahu Offshore Island State Seabird Sanctuaries normally listed as open for restricted access are reopening to keep in sync with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s opening of beaches. Those islands are Mokuauia, Popoia, Kapapa, and the Mokulua Islands. O‘ahu Offshore Island Seabird Sanctuaries, including Kihewamoku, Pulemoku, Kukuihoolua, Mokualai, Kekepa, Moku Manu, Mokulea, Manana, and Kaohikaipu are normally closed, and remain so.  Click on this link to see the full press release.

 

Q2. The State building in Hilo (75 Aupuni Street) is closed.  How am I supposed to visit DOBOR’s Wailoa office to process permits, etc.?

East Hawaii Boaters that need to conduct business with DOBOR in person may call or fax the Wailoa Sampan Basin and Boat Harbor at Ph: (808) 933-0414 Fax: (808) 933-0415 to make an appointment. 

 

Q3. When did the DOBOR closure go into effect?  What is the current status of division operations?

DOBOR offices were closed on March 18, 2020. HOWEVER, as of 6/4/20, All DOBOR facilities are open to the public.  Anyone with flu-like symptoms or having recent contact with an individual who is now quarantined should refrain from entering a DOBOR facility.  All DOBOR services are still available via Internet, phone and email.   Visitors must wear a mask.  Only one visitor may enter a lobby at a time.  Social distancing is required.  PLEASE READ ALL POSTS AT DOBOR FACILITIES BEFORE ENTERING. THESE SAFEGUARDS ARE IN PLACE FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF DOBOR STAFF.

 

Q4.  What is the current rule about the number of people who can board a single boat?

As of 6/3/20, the emergency rule which restricted no more than two unrelated people being on a single boat has been revised to no more than ten people on a vessel at one time. This includes passengers and crew and applies to all recreational and commercial vessels. It applies in all four Hawai‘i counties. The ten-person limitation can be exceeded if everyone is from the same household.

As of 6/29/20, recreational and commercial vessels may carry up to 50% of their rated capacity.  If a vessel is rated for fifty passengers, it can now carry up to 25.   Read the press release issued by DLNR.

Q5. I am piloting a vessel and will be arriving in Hawaii soon from a foreign port.  What procedure must I follow? What are the procedures for traveling inter-island?

For international, domestic and inter-island vessel travel, depending on your island destination, please contact the appropriate DOBOR District Manager.

Kauai Island District Office
Jeremiah G. Aguilera
Acting Kauai District Manager
Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor
2494 Niumalu Road, Lihue, Hawaii 96766
Phone: (808) 241-3111 Fax (808) 241-3117
E-mail: [email protected]

Hawaii Island District Office
Christopher M. Phillips
Acting Hawaii District Manager
Honokohau Small Boat Harbor
74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i 96740-2704
Ph: (808) 327-3690 Fax: (808) 327-3675
Email: [email protected]

Maui District Office (Including the Islands of Lanai and Molokai)
Paul K. Sensano
Maui District Manager
Maalaea Small Boat Harbor
101 Maalaea Boat Harbor Road, Wailuku, Hawai`i 96793
Ph: (808) 243-5824 Fax: (808) 243-5829
E-mail: [email protected]

Oahu District Office
Bruce L. Swartz
Oahu District Manager
Keehi Small Boat Harbor
4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819
Phone: (808) 832-3520, Fax: (808) 587-1977
E-mail: [email protected]

District managers will provide information on the specific facility within their districts where the visiting vessel MUST be received and moored.  

All vessels must comply with conditions set in Hawaii Governor Ige’s fourth proclamation requiring self-quarantine lasting 14 days.  Operators and passengers may only get off the vessel for supplies and need to follow the Governor’s emergency proclamations and County requirements while off the vessel, including wearing of face masks, social distancing, etc.

https://governor.hawaii.gov/emergency-proclamations/

A recreational vessel coming in from out of State does not need to be quarantine as long as the operator and passengers can prove they have been at sea for longer than 14 days and no one on board is sick. 

Upon arrival, the operator must call US Customs and Border Protection immediately at 808-522-8012.  This contact also ties-in the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. 

All visiting vessels must fill out and submit to the respective District Manager, a 1) Declaration Form when they arrive, 2) the 14-day quarantine order, and 3) an application for a temporary mooring permit.

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/200429-dobor-declaration-form (updated)

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/14-day-quarantine-order-for-all-travel-_4-6-2020-1-1/

https://dobor.ehawaii.gov/forms/mooring-temporary.pdf

DOBOR is not requiring a visiting vessel to be inspected (for the safety of the staff).  A buoy run that is normally required as a condition of a temporary mooring permit can be done when DOBOR staffers see the visiting vessel come into the harbor.  If not, buoy runs can be done on a case-by-case basis. 

Proof of insurance is not required immediately if the operator of the vessel must contact an insurance provider to establish a new policy. However, proof of $500,000 liability insurance should be submitted as soon as possible to keep the temporary mooring permit in force.

Visiting vessels should be aware that DLNR/DOBOR rules prohibit a vessel from anchoring offshore for more than 72-hours in what is called an Ocean Recreation Management Area or a Non-Designated Ocean Recreation Management Area.

 

Q6. Are public restrooms at the harbors open?

On Hawaii island, Kauai and Oahu, restrooms are open all hours, seven days a week with one exception.  Waianae SBH public restrooms are closed from 4pm to 7am daily. 

DOBOR’s restrooms on Maui were shut down on 4/9/20 because of an issue with the cleaning contractor.  The facilities are now being cleaned by DOBOR staff and have been reopened.  

 

Q7. Can I use my boat to visit offshore islets (the Mokulua islets and others) in the Main Hawaiian Islands? 

DLNR announced by press release on 4/13/20 that these areas are being closed due to Covid-19.  However, that situation has changed.  See question Q&A posted 6/13/20 for info on visiting Oahu’s offshore islands.

The prohibition on landing on Ahu O Laka (aka the Sandbar, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu) has been lifted.  Vessels visiting Ahu O Laka MUST moor at least 20 feet apart.  All visitors MUST practice social distancing AND adhere to safety guidelines according to published requirements. PLEASE NOTE: Abuse of the social distancing guidelines could result in Ahu O Laka being shut down again.

As a reminder, alcohol, narcotics and non-prescription drugs are prohibited at Ahu O Laka on 4th of July weekend under HAR 13-256.73.13.

 

 

COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS

Q8.  What is the current status of Commercial Use Permits across the State as of 6/3/20?

This applies to all commercial ocean operations permitted by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), and all commercial watersports activities in and on state waters.

As of 6/3/20, the emergency rule which restricted no more than two unrelated people being on a single boat has been revised to no more than ten people on a vessel at one time. This includes passengers and crew and applies to all recreational and commercial vessels. It applies in all four Hawai‘i counties. The ten-person limitation can be exceeded if everyone is from the same household.

As of 6/29/20, recreational and commercial vessels may carry up to 50% of their rated capacity.  If a vessel is rated for fifty passengers, it can now carry up to 25.   Read the press release issued by DLNR.

Commercial vessel permittees can resume operations, provided that all of the following requirements are met:

a. Social Distancing:

    1. Where practical, when onboard a vessel, passengers and crewmembers shall wear cloth face coverings that comply with requirements set forth in applicable Proclamations.
    2. If possible, social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be maintained between individuals; if not possible, crewmembers and patrons must maintain as much social distancing as allowed on the vessel or contrivance, depending on its size and configuration. Passengers and crewmembers from the same household are not required to social distance from each other.
    3. Any food served must be in individually packaged servings; buffets shall be prohibited. Passengers may bring their own food and drinks onboard and keep it separate from the food and drink supplied by the host vessel.
    4. Passengers and crewmembers should not pass or share fishing rods or equipment, to the maximum extent possible.
    5. Signage shall be posted at the company’s place of business and on all company vessels to notify the public that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may not enter the company’s vessel(s).

b. Hygiene Protocols:

    1. Crewmembers shall provide handwashing capability or sanitizer on the vessel.
    2. Frequent handwashing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels must be available.
    3. Crewmembers and staff shall provide touch-point sanitization (e.g., workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms) at least hourly.

c. Staffing:

    1. Vessel captains shall ensure crewmembers are trained in basic hygiene practices, such as frequent and thorough hand washing, respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes), and discourage crewmembers or passengers from using others’ personal property, work tools, and equipment.
    2. Vessel captains shall conduct pre-shift staff screening and maintain staff screening logs.
    3. No crewmembers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may provide services to customers. Symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work.
    4. No crewmember may report to the work site within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever.
    5. The company shall establish a plan for employees getting ill and a return-to-work plan following CDC guidance, which can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance- business-response.html.

d. Cleaning and Disinfecting:

    1. Before passengers may enter a vessel for a commercial trip, staff must clean and disinfect the vessel in compliance with CDC protocols. Staff shall clean and disinfect company vessels in compliance with CDC protocols at least once between each commercial trip.
    2. When an active employee is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, CDC cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as soon after the confirmation of a positive test as practical.
    3. CDC protocols can be found online at: https://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance- business-response.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html.

Commercial watersports permittees can resume operations, provided that all of the following requirements are met:

a. Social Distancing:

    • Where practical, staff and patrons shall wear cloth face coverings that comply with requirements set forth in applicable Proclamations.
    • If possible, social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall be maintained between individuals; if not possible, staff and patrons must maintain as much social distancing as allowed on the vessel or contrivance, depending on its size and configuration. Passengers and crewmembers from the same household are not required to social distance from each other.
    • Any food served must be in individually packaged servings; buffets shall be prohibited. Passengers may bring their own food and keep it separate from the food and drink supplied by the operator.
    • Staff and patrons should not pass or share equipment, to the maximum extent possible.
    • Signage shall be posted at the place of business to notify the public that any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may not engage in any watersports activities.

b. Hygiene Protocols:

    1. Staff shall provide handwashing capabilities or hand sanitizer.
    2. Frequent handwashing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels must be
    3. Staff shall provide touch-point sanitization (e.g. workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms) at least hourly.

c. Staffing:

  1. Companies shall ensure that staff are trained in basic hygiene practices, such as frequent and thorough hand washing, respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes), and discourage staff and patrons from using others’ personal property, work tools, and equipment.
  2. Companies must conduct pre-shift staff screening and maintain staff screening logs.
  3. No staff displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may provide services to patrons. Symptomatic or ill employees may not report to work.
  4. No staff may report to the work site within 72 hours of exhibiting a fever.
  5. Companies must establish a plan for staff getting ill and a return-to-work plan following CDC guidance, which can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance- business-response.html.

d. Cleaning and Disinfecting:

    1. Staff shall clean and disinfect all watersports equipment at least once between patron use in compliance with CDC protocols. Companies shall not allow patrons to use watersports equipment without having first cleaned and disinfected the watersports equipment in compliance with CDC protocols.
    2. When an active staff member is identified as being COVID-19 positive by testing, CDC cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as soon after the confirmation of a positive test as practical.
    3. CDC protocols can be found online at: https://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance- business-response.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html.

 

Q9. Is the state working on a stimulus package for commercial operators to sustain and re-establish their businesses? Many of these companies have been paying DLNR-DOBOR 3% of their gross revenues monthly, some for decades. These fees have added to millions in revenue for the state. Will the state be helping them back?

This matter is not within DLNR’s jurisdiction to decide.

 

Q10. Going forward, will permittees get any official notice directly from DLNR-DOBOR regarding their permits? Many commercial permittees were confused when they learned of the suspension of their permits through social media and the local news. With so much miss-information circling around on social media platforms, Permittees need to know that the information they are receiving is coming from a reliable source to maintain confidence in the information they are receiving.

Each harbor facility was posted with notices that included contact information in the event there were any questions or issues with the facility. Updates are being put on the website whenever possible and can be reviewed at: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/. Additionally, it is recommended that people monitor the following official government communications:

 

This page was last updated 06/30/20.