State seeks fish pond permit


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is taking part in a “Hoala Loko Ia” initiative with cultural practitioners in Hawaii to assist with the restoration and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds.

“Hawaiian fishpond systems, loko ia, are some of Hawaii’s most significant traditional cultural resources,” said William Aila Jr., DLNR chairman. “To help community organizations and traditional fishpond practitioners revitalize these important resources and navigate the many government regulations approvals, DLNR is currently pursuing a state programmatic general permit from the federal government. This will allow the state to streamline the permitting process by utilizing a single application process for the restoration, repair, maintenance and reconstruction of loko ia statewide.”

The draft environmental assessment for the state programmatic general permit was published in the Environmental Notice on April 23, and DLNR is seeking public comments on the proposal. Copies of the Environmental Assessment, along with other related documents, are available on the websites for the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl/manuals-reports, and Honua Consulting, honuaconsulting.com/lokoia. Comments can be submitted via Honua’s website.

The official public comment period will run through May 23. Project representatives are also available to meet with fishpond practitioners to review the proposal. Interested hui may contact Michael Cain at the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at 783-2501 or by email at Michael.Cain@hawaii.gov.