Potential streamlined permitting process for fishpond revitalization

The permits required for fishpond restoration have long been identified as one of the main roadblocks for fishpond practitioners who are interested in reviving fishpond systems. A fishpond symposium in 1991 identified up to 17 permits that may be required to restore a fishpond, and a study completed in 2003 noted that this process could potentially cost pond owners or operators $50-$80,000 and take many years to complete.

In 2012, representatives from various state and federal agencies met with a group of fishpond practitioners to learn about their past experiences and work with them to address the permitting issue. Over the course of nearly two years, this meeting has culminated in a collaborative effort to streamline the permitting process for fishpond restoration, and one portion of this effort is undergoing a public review process in February and March.

The Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) for the proposed Statewide Programmatic General Permit and Programmatic Agreement for the repair, restoration, maintenance, and operation of traditional fishpond systems in Hawai’i is out for public comment through March 10. This is one piece of a collaborative effort to streamline the permitting framework for loko i’a restoration activities.

The CDUA and associated documents can be found online at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/occl/special-projects/. Public hearings are being held on all islands. If you and/or your organization are interested in providing testimony but you don’t know where to start, let our fishpond coordinator Brenda Asuncion know: brenda@kuahawaii.org.

Tues Feb 18: Windward Community College, Hale ʻĀkoakoa Room 107, 45-720 Kea’ahala Road, Kāneʻohe. 6:30 pm

Thurs Feb 20: Kāpaʻa Public Library, 4-1464 Kūhiō Highway, Kāpa’a. 6:00 pm

Tues Feb 25: Kūlana ‘Ōiwi Halau, 600 Kamehameha Highway, Kalama’ula, Molokaʻi. 6:00 pm

Wed Feb 26: Maui Sanctuary Visitor Center 726 South Kīhei Road, Kīhei. 6:30 pm

Thurs Feb 27: Lānaʻi Community Center, Eight St. and Lānaʻi Avenue. 5:00 pm

Wed March 5: West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona. 6:00 pm


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