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Former Gov. Linda Lingle Honored with 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award For Keehi Small Boat Harbor Improvements

Not very welcoming, is it? This dilapidated pier Keehi Small Boat Harbor was recently replaced with a safe and low-maintenance floating pier - the first of such four piers to be renovated at the site.
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HONOLULU, Hawaii, January 19, 2011 –- Hawaii offers recreational boaters, sailors and anglers a great on-the-water lifestyle. In contrast, however, has been the poor condition of the state’s small boat harbors, leading many of the state’s boaters and cruisers passing through to claim a paradise lost.

But under the direction of former Governor Lingle, Hawaii has begun to address the issue. For her work in securing the funds and seeing the ongoing reconstruction of floating piers with eventual dockage for 96 boats at Keehi Small Boat Harbor on Oahu, former Governor Linda Lingle is honored with a 2010 BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award.

BoatUS (Boat Owners Association of The United States) created the award program in 2007 to highlight successes in protecting water access as boaters and communities were losing marina slips, service yards and boat launching areas. The goal is to draw national attention to innovative solutions and share success stories so that others may help to solve their own waterway access challenges.

Completed in August of 2010, the first phase of the project consisted of demolishing Keehi’s dilapidated concrete pile foundations and wood framing on Pier 100, and constructing a newly-engineered aluminum framed floating dock system. Three more piers are scheduled for completion later this year. All are similarly handicapped-accessible and built with low maintenance marine grade aluminum topped with composite decking and anchored with an elastic mooring system.

Prior to the renovation 20% of the boat slips at Keehi had been taken out of service due to safety and liability concerns. In some cases, the docks had literally rotted away and fallen into the harbor. Years of bureaucratic wrangling, a tough fiscal environment, and boater’s own reluctance to pay more prevented improvements from taking place.

“Hawaii’s small boat harbors were once called ‘dysfunctional’ by the Honolulu Star Bulletin,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “Under former Governor Lingle’s watch, the state had begun a multi-year effort to replace or was in progress of replacing 664 of the 2260 state-run slips. The state’s flagship recreational boat facility on Oahu, Ala Wai Harbor, has seen nearly two-thirds of its moorings replaced with state-of-the-art modular dock systems. There is a way to go, but this is good progress. These facilities provide vital access to the ocean and generate economic dividends for their communities.”

Funding for the piers at Keehi came from transferring funds from another pier renovation project that would have yielded fewer slips. Working with the HI Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, an additional $1 million was also secured from the federal Sportfish Restoration Fund Boating Access Program. The former Governor also worked with the legislature to appropriate an additional $2.5 million.  


About BoatUS:

BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services.  For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.