The volcano eruption on the Big Island last year created a new black sand beach but also cut off a boat ramp to the ocean in the area.

A new study says it’s possible to remove sand and create a channel to reconnect the Pohoiki Small Boat Ramp — which is presently “land-locked and useless” — but it’s going to be difficult and cost big bucks.

“The engineering study found that no matter where the state builds a ramp along the lower Puna Coast it will be challenging,” according to a press release Monday from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

If the plan is to reconnect the Pohoiki ramp, an engineering firm estimates it would cost almost $40 million.

But the cost of a ramp at Malama Flats, just south of McKenzie State Recreation Area, would cost $14.5 million.

A ramp to nowhere: the Pohoiki Small Boat Ramp post Kilauea.

DLNR

The alternative location “appears to offer reasonable conditions for design of an inland excavated ramp facility, however no quantitative site information is presently available,” says DLNR.

The engineering study was commissioned by the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

The press release says that DOBOR will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get funding to build a new ramp and facilities “and when and if that happens will have to obtain appropriate permits and hold public hearings or informational meetings with local boaters and the community.”

Read Civil Beat’s related coverage:

Big Island: Why A New Beach Created By Lava May Doom A Popular Boat Ramp

Big Island: Puna Park Cut Off By Lava Reopens, Attracting Hundreds

Big Island: Beach Created By Volcanic Eruption Was Born Polluted

Will you help us?

There are upsides to being a nonprofit as we carry out our public-service mission. We don’t have a paywall on our site, charge a subscription fee, or clutter our articles with ads. But this also means that reader support sustains every aspect of what we do. Without you, we don’t exist. It’s as simple as that. By donating, you’re supporting everyone on staff—and allowing unbiased, investigative journalism to thrive. If you value our work, will you make a tax-deductible donation today?

About the Author