Hawaii’s harbors and docks are falling into an alarming state of disrepair, and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, which manages the state’s publicly owned harbors, seems powerless to stem the tide. More than 292 slips are out of service, and many of the antiquated docks are beyond further repair. This year’s boating-fee increase is only a drop in the bucket providing $12 to $13 million of the $300 million necessary to repair the long-neglected docks, piers, and harbor facilities. Hawaiian sailors fear that this deficit will lead to the privatization of the docks. While a private owner may be better able to revive the harbors, locals fear that privatization will create prohibitive marina prices and limit the public access to the waterfront that many Hawaiians consider to be their greatest resource.
Posted: December 11, 2007