Safety zone at K-Bay sandbar in place for Labor Day

| August 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
The above graph depicts the designated Ahu o Laka safety zone at Kaneohe Bay. A new rule prohibits the possession, use or consumption of alcohol; loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or nonprescription drugs in the area. (Photo courtesy of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

The above graph depicts the designated Ahu o Laka safety zone at Kaneohe Bay. A new rule prohibits the possession, use or consumption of alcohol; loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or nonprescription drugs in the area. (Photo courtesy of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

New rule applies to three holiday weekends, prevents disturbances

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
News Release

HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources, or DLNR, will begin enforcing a new state boating rule over this Labor Day holiday weekend, Sept. 1-3 (Saturday, Sunday and Monday), which prohibits the possession, use or consumption of alcohol; loud, abusive or disorderly conduct; and the presence of persons under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or nonprescription drugs in an area designated as the Ahu o Laka safety zone, also known as the Kaneohe Sandbar in Kaneohe Bay.

DLNR logo

DLNR logo

“The state is moving forward to support public safety and respect for Ahu o Laka as a unique natural resource and cultural area,” said William Aila Jr., chairperson, DLNR.

“We have listened to the concerns of families and responsible boaters in striking a balance that applies needed rules and enforcement to three summer holiday weekends,” Aila added, explaining that, historically, the K-Bay sandbar has logged larger crowds, drinking and unruly behavior, causing disturbances, during holiday weekends.

The new rule establishes a rectangular safety zone in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. The area is just over a square mile and comprises the majority of the sandbar, defined by six marker buoys.

Provisions of the rule serve to protect the public while visiting Ahu o Laka on three designated holiday weekends in the summer — Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, including any three-day weekend associated with these holidays.

The rule has a sunset provision in three years to allow the department time to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness and the need for continuance or modification at that time.

Under the new rule, violations may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 or less than $50 for each violation, in addition to administrative fines, fees, costs and damages, according to Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 13-256-73.13 Ahu o Laka Safety Zone.

Persons cited will be processed administratively at a public meeting before the Land Board. Persons wishing to contest the infraction(s) may request a contested case hearing.

A 120-day emergency rule that was in operation during Independence Day, Admission Day and Labor Day weekends in 2011 resulted in a calmer, family-friendly environment. During that time DLNR issued a total of eight citations for unauthorized possession of alcohol, and fines issued by the Land Board ranged from $50-$400.

The safety zone is identical in size and placement to the zone that was approved last year by the Land Board.

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Category: Community Relations, News, Safety

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