Hanauma Bay to get much-needed repairs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hanauma Bay to get much-needed repairs

Simon Lowe Simon Lowe
Julie Malcolm Julie Malcolm

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's one of the state's most popular tourism destinations, with around three million visitors each year.

Yet, critics say Hanauma Bay is not getting the maintenance and repairs it needs.

But according to the city, help may be on its the way.

The city spent more than $10-million almost a decade ago, to build an educational facility above the bay.

Some have questioned its upkeep, but the city says they're now addressing these issues.

Hanauma Bay is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the state. Tourists flock there everyday except Tuesday, when it's closed.

That's to give the bay a break from its many visitors. It was also part of a plan by the city, back in 1990, that tried to restore the bay to a clean, healthy state.

"It's a stunningly beautiful part of the world, but I suppose there are some issues, with maintaining the tourism part of that," Visitor Simon Lowe said.

Tourists like Lowe notice the need for repairs, like the touch screen computers, which have been out of service for more than a year.

The video projector has not been working properly. When the required training video for first-time visitors is shown, a big green splotch dominates the screen. It's been like that for months.

"We did notice that the screen for the movie was blurred out in the middle and there are other elements for a tourist aren't quite working and are less than satisfactory," Lowe said.

Other issues, include a 40-foot metal guardrail at the highest lookout. It's rusty and has sharp edges. The area remains closed and parts of the roof of the learning center on the beach is falling apart.

"It doesn't spoil the visit, but certainly, I think any tourist would notice," Lowe said.

But the city is and has been working on these shortcomings. Just in the past two weeks, the guardrail has been undergoing repairs.

We're told the projector is being replaced on Tuesday and new touch screen computers should be in the following week.

"I think it's great to see that they're spending the money on some improvements, particularly since there's an admission charge," Visitor Julie Malcolm said.

Greg Knudsen, the chairman of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, helped draft a resolution about the bay's facilities, after hearing concerns from the public as far back as last year.

"The board is calling on the city to develop financial and procurement procedures and a new organizational structure to facilitate rapid maintenance and repair at Hanauma Bay," The resolution states.

Non-resident entry fees and concession dollars go towards the Hanauma Bay Fund. It totals several million dollars, which the city uses to fix the nature preserve.

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