The same day that a ban on commercial activity at Oahu’s Kailua Beach took effect, Kauai locals announced a rally against a similar issue they’re facing at Hanalei Bay – a 160-foot privately-charted yacht and its helicopter.
Locals hope to preserve Hanalei Bay’s beauty by keep it limited to swimmers and surfers.
The locals I talked to are mostly concerned with the environmental impact this ship, called the Karima, will have on Kauai’s pristine bay. Customers on board have been water skiing and ping, while the yacht itself has recently been allowed to tie up to the pier. The helicopter harbored in the bay has also become an issue with the nearby residents. Flying into Hanalei is not actually against federal regulations; however, there’s an advisory for aircrafts to avoid Hanalei Bay because it’s a noise-sensitive area.
According to The Garden Isle, a spokesperson for the yacht said that they are not breaking any rules; the ship anchors 60-feet offshore, away from swimmers. They have a recreational mooring permit until Aug. 20, but locals there want to hold a rally protesting the ship’s activities sooner. They also hope that the rally this Saturday will extend beyond this yacht and establish rules requiring such commercial activity to be moored in harbors only, such as Kaua’i’s Port Allen.
There needs to be some regulation at Hanalei Bay, which is also part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sanctuary. Meaning, it’s a protected area recognized for its historic beauty. I’d hate to see it get out of hand in Kauai. Allowing one yacht will lead to two, three and so on and so forth. Then a pier will need to be built to accept the large amount of passengers. It’ll be a domino effect that, in the end, will only hurt the tight-knit plantation community from which the town of Hanalei is built upon.
• Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012 • 5pm at Hanalei Pier