DOCARE, DOBOR AND PŪPŪKEA-WAIMEA MAKAI WATCH TEAM UP
(HONOLULU) – Two DLNR Divisions and the Mālama Pūpūkea -Waimea Makai Watch program teamed up over the weekend for the first “Splash” event, created to continue support and evaluation of the Makai Watch program, provide education on rules and regulations, and also address people’s perceptions about the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) in our local communities.
Rolling in traffic on the north shore of Oahu passing “Pūpūkea” (Sharks Cove), a line of parked DOCARE vehicles could be seen Saturday morning. A closer look towards the ocean, and a mix of DOCARE officers, the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) Education Specialist, and Makai Watch volunteers could be seen interacting with and engaging beach-goers with proper reef etiquette and beach safety.
DOCARE is currently piloting the Makai Watch program in eight communities across the state, including the one at Pūpūkea. The “Splash” event was designed to help evaluate the effectiveness of volunteer training and reporting, as well as the change in resource violations over time.
“This was a fantastic example of community outreach, education, and enforcement,” said Jenny Yagodich, Makai Watch coordinator for the Mālama Pūpūkea -Waimea Makai Watch program. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen our Makai Watch program and are dedicated to helping protect our fragile ocean resources.”
DOCARE and DOBOR were on site to provide education and issue warnings to commercial operators who weren’t following regulations. The represemtatives encountered quite a few commercial operators who were not properly permitted. According to DOBOR Boating Education Specialist, Clifford Inn, “All commercial operators who are conducting tours or lessons on the water must obtain a commercial-use permit”. People and commercial operators were able to clarify their questions regarding rules and regulations. They were also invited to the Makai Watch Training at Sunset Beach Recreation Center on Saturday June 25 from 1p-4p.
Guy Chang, DOCARE Oahu Branch Chief, commented, The “Splash” event was an inspiration full eagerness and energy, everyone learned what achievement lies ahead for partnerships with communities, DLNR and the Makai Watch Groups”. As an additional benefit, DOCARE officers were able to clarify their own personal questions with DOBOR regulations, as well as provide perspectives on the enforceability of the regulations. Chang added, “This collaboration was a great success, providing education and transparency across DLNR divisions and communities.”
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Photographs of Splash event:
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Office of the Chairperson
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131
Honolulu, HI 96813