Small boaters face larger fees

Fee increases for recreational boaters took effect yesterday, according to a state Department of Land and Natural Resources release.

The fees will be used to make long-overdue repairs to small boat harbors and boating facilities statewide.

The new fee structure will apply to recreational mooring rates at state boating facilities, offshore mooring rates, mooring without permission, and annual user fees for state boating ramps. The last fee increase for the state’s small boat harbors and boating facilities took place in March 1995.

Ramp use permit fees will increase from $25 to $40 for anyone renewing their annual permits after May 1. Boaters who have already paid their annual ramp permit fees for the coming year will not be billed any additional amount. However, the new fees will be applied when those permits expire and are up for renewal.

Registered boaters holding mooring permits were sent a notice in early February of the impending fee increases. A second letter was also sent to each permit holder detailing what amount will be payable to DLNR each month under the conditions of the fee increase.

“DLNR asked for and received this needed rate increase to replace collapsed finger piers, fix and repave roads, maintain plumbing lines, and conduct other, much-needed repairs at our small boat harbors around the state,” said Peter Young, DLNR Chairperson.

The fee increase is expected to provide DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation an additional $100,000 per month for this first incremental change.

DLNR held three rounds of meetings statewide to present proposed rule amendments relating to fee increases, in October 2002, October 2005 and the last in December 2005, for a total of 23 meetings.

The new fee increase package is posted on the DOBOR Web site at: www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/borrules.htm

Copies of the rules can be purchased at the DOBOR main office located at 333 Queen St., Suite 300, Honolulu, 96813 for $5.50.

DOBOR operates and manages 21 harbors, 50 ramps, 2,122 moorings and berths and 19 piers across the state. The division works in close partnership with DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) and the U.S. Coast Guard to make near shore waters safe. The division is also responsible for registering all vessels in Hawai‘i which are not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard and for regulating and permitting surf meets, canoe and yachting regattas, ocean swimming events and other ocean events with the concurrence of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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