Online voting begins Thursday for anyone interested in serving on the Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee, or M-RAC.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it is establishing the committee in response to concerns of community members regarding the status of ocean regulations in the Oahu bay.

The results of the voting, which ends Nov. 19, are to be announced the following week. The DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation plans to facilitate the first general meeting in December or January for the public to meet the committee members and discuss long-term goals.

Voting begins Thursday for a new recreation advisory committee for Maunalua Bay, seen here as the moon rises over Koko Head.

Voting begins Thursday for a new recreation advisory committee for Maunalua Bay, seen here as the moon rises over Koko Head.

Courtesy of Liana Hong

“Through the representatives of the advisory committee, DOBOR is looking for community input that reflects the values of the Hawaii Kai community and for them to be involved in the process,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator, in a release Tuesday.

The M-RAC members will represent fishing, surfing, paddling, diving, thrill craft interests as well as bay residents, the release says.

DOBOR is sensitive to the concerns of the Maunalua Bay community regarding overcrowding, the release says, and imposes the following restrictions on commercial activity:

  • Limited numbers of commercial thrill craft and high speed boating permits are issued by DOBOR
  • All commercial recreation activities are prohibited on Sundays.
  • All thrill craft/high speed boating and towing is prohibited on weekends and state or federal holidays.
  • Commercial thrill craft operations during weekdays are restricted to operating between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • All commercial thrill craft and high speed boating operations are restricted to specific zones within Maunalua Bay.
  • Commercial thrill craft and high speed boating operations are further restricted during humpback whale season.

Learn more about M-RAC and the voting process here. Read past Civil Beat coverage of the issue here.

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