Kauai News

Division of Aquatic Resources holding hearings for ocean stewardship fees in Hawaiʻi

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The Hawaiʻi State Division of Aquatic Resources will hold public hearings on the proposed adoption of administrative rules that establish provisions for the Ocean Stewardship User Fee.

The provisions would require all operators of commercial vessels, watercraft or water sports equipment that are required to have a commercial operator permit or commercial use permit to collect a $1 ocean stewardship user fee from each passenger carried or customer served. It also requires the collected fees to be transferred to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The proposed rules establish the due date for the fees to be submitted to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the reporting and record-keeping requirements for commercial operators, and applicable penalties for violations of the chapter.

To read the draft administrative rules for HAR 13-78, click here.

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Interested persons are urged to participate in these hearings to present relevant information and individual opinion to be considered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. There are three ways to participate: online or by telephone; in-person at a host location; or by written testimony.

Online Testimony:

Participants can present live video and/or oral testimony via internet or telephone at any of the three online hearings. Interested persons are encouraged to participate on the date that corresponds with the island that you identify as your primary residence, (see schedule below), unless you are unable to attend on the date of your island’s meeting.

To participate, you will need a computer with internet access, video camera and microphone, or a telephone. If you wish to testify online, you must register using the links included in the schedule below.

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All fields are required for registration in order to testify. Once you submit the online registration form, a confirmation will be emailed to you with instructions and the meeting link and call-in number. If you do not receive an email with a Zoom link, please email [email protected] for assistance.

People should testify at least one hour prior to the hearing to ensure that you receive the Zoom link on time. If you are unable to access the Zoom hearing, you may still provide oral testimony at one of the in-person host sites or you may also submit written testimony. If you just want to watch the hearing, go to: https://bit.ly/DARYouTubeChannel.

Written testimony:

Participants can mail or email written testimony by Aug. 4, 2023, to: Division of Aquatic Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330, Honolulu, HI 96813 or [email protected].

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In-person testimony:

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will set up sites throughout the state where people can attend in person to present live video/oral testimony via computer. They will be at the sites of the hearings below.

Kauaʻi – July 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Hawai‘i Island – July 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

  • Online via Zoom (register at: https://bit.ly/OSUFPH07-26)
  • Aupuni Center Conference Room, 101 Pauahi St., Suite #1, Hilo
  • West Hawai‘i Civic Center – Community Meeting Hale, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway, Kailua-Kona

Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi – July 25, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

  • Online via Zoom (register at: https://bit.ly/OSUFPH07-25)
  • Maui DAR Office, 130 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi 96793
  • Kūlana ʻŌiwi, 600 Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai, Hawaiʻi 96748
  • Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation – Lānaʻi Office, Mānele Small Boat Harbor, Mānele Harbor Road, Lānaʻi City, Hawaiʻi 96763

Oʻahu – July 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For more information, please view the announcements on the Division of Aquatic Resources website: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/.

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