H.R. NO.













urging the united states army corps of engineers and the department of land and natural resources to collaborate to create a mechanism for generating water circulation in pokai bay on leeward oahu.




     WHEREAS, Pokai Bay is one of the most-visited ocean areas on Oahu's Leeward Coast because of its wide sandy beach and relatively calm waters; and


     WHEREAS, because it is protected by an offshore breakwater, Pokai Bay maintains calm conditions year-round, which makes it an ideal location for many ocean users including swimmers, canoe paddlers, surfers, snorkelers, boaters, divers, and stand-up paddlers; and


     WHEREAS, despite Pokai Bay's pristine appearance of crystal-blue waters and white sand, it is sadly the site of pollution from multiple sources including runoff from surrounding surfaces, illegal dumping, and user-induced contaminants; and


     WHEREAS, over the last decade, beach users and local community members have reported the presence of health and environmental hazards at Pokai Bay; and


     WHEREAS, water runoff containing industrial pollutants washed from local surface streets, parking lots, and sidewalks as well as petrochemical-based pollutants caused by vehicular use of an adjacent boat ramp is a suspected source of tar balls that have been found on the beach; and


     WHEREAS, illegal dumping of dredging materials and other substances along the Leeward Coast, including at Pokai Bay, has historically occurred at higher rates than at other locations on Oahu; and

     WHEREAS, it is suspected that the significant use of Leeward Coast beaches for camping and associated activities of daily life, such as bathing, by homeless persons has introduced higher than normal levels of bacteria to the sand and waters at Pokai Bay, resulting in a rash of staph infections and other health problems among regular beach uses; and


     WHEREAS, the very features, including the offshore breakwater, that make Pokai Bay attractive to so many beach users may be exacerbating problems caused by pollution and contaminants in the water because they cause decreased water circulation and stagnation; and


     WHEREAS, wetland and estuary management projects across the world have employed various methods of artificial water circulation, including jet aeration and pumping systems, to increase oxygenation, improve water quality, and mitigate environmental damage caused by shoreline destruction and water contamination; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2017, that the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Land and Natural Resources are encouraged to work collaboratively to research and develop a plan for increasing water circulation in Pokai Bay on Oahu's Leeward Cost to improve water quality and mitigate environmental and health risks caused by pollution and contaminants in the water; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Corps of Engineers and Department of Land and Natural Resources are requested to submit a report of their collaborative activities, including significant findings, cost estimates, and any proposed legislation to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2018; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Commander and District Engineer

of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District and the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.









Report Title: 

Pokai Bay; Water Quality; Increased Circulation