ANINI — The county Department of Parks and Recreation, in an effort to combat runoff into the ocean, has plugged a water pipe at the Anini Beach Park boat ramp. Mariners are no longer able to wash down their vessels.
“We cut off the water because the runoff from the wash area was flowing into the ocean and the location of the water spigot was in a location that prohibited access to the ramp for other boats/trailers while the wash down area was in use,” said Deputy Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, Wallace Rezentes Jr. “We also discussed with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation and they had similar concerns with the runoff at Anini.”
Renzentes Jr. added that parks and recreation is looking at other locations near the site that would be more feasible and friendlier on the environment.
The boat ramp itself is on state land and some citizens are concerned with the structural integrity of the boulders that create the walls of the boat ramp.
“From what I see over there (the rock wall), it’s totally dangerous,” Wayne Bermoy said after cleaning his kite surf sails at a shower near the spigot that has been plugged on the boat ramp. “It’s just falling apart. All the bottom stones is holding the top stones. It’s all falling out in big groups, it’s going to collapse.”
Bermoy said he thinks it has the possibility to hurt somebody soon and that the water issue is small compared to the structural integrity of the wall.
“I would mark that as damaged and I would barricade it,” Bermoy said. “What good does caution tape do there when it is going to collapse eventually? They gotta do the works soon. Somebody gonna sue them for millions when they could spend half a million fixing it.”
Sarah Blane, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami’s chief of staff, commented on a Facebook thread about the spigot closure by saying — “There were two issues with the current location: 1) it blocks ramp access while in use, which was becoming an increasing issue for boaters; and 2) more importantly, the current location causes water runoff into the ocean. There are strict health/water quality regulations re. boat washdown facilities and the current location is not in compliance. We are looking to site an alternative location that would mitigate the potential for runoff.”
Blane was commenting in response to Stephen Koehne, who voiced his concern over the closure at Anini.
“I and other park users are not okay with the water wash downs being stripped from Anini beach,” Koehne wrote. “I was told that the reasons were because of people complaining about boaters washing down, and because of an issue that happened between two boaters …”
Koehne was ordered to pay a $15,000 civil penalty in May of 2018 for offering commercial boat tours along the Napali Coast without the proper licensing between Jan. 12 and Sept. 22, 2017.
Domi Ragsac, a local tour guide, had a small dispute with a man near the boat ramp five days prior to the spigot closure.
“I parked right there and his trailer was parked at that side and he was bringing his boat in, so he had to go park his trailer,” Ragsac said. “My van was parked in his way. So instead of telling me, ‘hey cuz, hey budda, do you think you could move your van, oh ya ya ok. Instead, he tell me, ‘hey move that van.’ Even the tourist said, ‘hey that guy sounds rough.’”
Ragsac said he believes the closure will be a big deal for many of the boaters who frequent the launch.
Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.