In an effort to stimulate traditional Hawaiian cultural activities, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has proposed a streamlined permitting process to help with the restoration of fishponds.
The DLNR is currently pursuing a State Programmatic General Permit (SPGP) from the federal government that will allow the State to streamline the permitting process by utilizing a single application process for fishpond restoration. The objective of the proposed action is the restoration, repair, maintenance and reconstruction of loko iʻa (traditional Hawaiian fishpond systems) across the paeʻāina of Hawaii (Hawaiian archipelago).
The public has 30 days to comment on this proposal with the comment period ending May 23. Comments can be sent to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131, Honolulu, HI 96813, Contact: Sam J. Lemm, 587-0377. Consultant on the project is Honua Consulting, 4348 Wai’alae Ave. #254, Honolulu, HI 96816, contact: Trisha Kēhaulani Watson, 392-1617.
The hope is that this proposal will lead to the restoration of fishpond systems and their related ecosystem services. Fishpond systems were a vital component of Hawaii’s pre-contact native Hawaiian communities; their degradation was caused by the urbanization and colonization brought and fostered by foreign contact.
In the related environmental assessment, fishponds have been identified as valuable cultural and ecological resources that positively impact coastal ecosystems and their adjacent communities. The potential impacts on the environment of the proposed action, and a range of reasonable alternatives, are discussed and analyzed in this proposal.
The direct and indirect impacts of nutrient enrichment, turbidity, and invasive species resulting from the proposed action and alternatives are negligible. The long-term cumulative impacts will be the simulation of traditional Hawaiian cultural activities, the restoration of fishpond systems and their related ecosystem services.