Dredging kicks off at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor


A $3.1 million dredging operation at the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hawaii started earlier this week and is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

photo by Daniel Dennison (State of Hawaii)

Depending on the location, sediment build up and available funding, the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) attempts to conduct dredging operations in state small boat harbors every five to eight years.

Dredging at Wailoa became a critical concern for Hawai‘i Island boaters after the Pohoiki ramp was surrounded by lava during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.

So far this week, a shore-based excavator and front-end loader are moving dark brown soil from the harbor basin and spreading it along the shoreline, where ultimately it will be trucked away.

 A barge carrying an excavator will move into the basin proper in the next few weeks, and while lengthy closures are not anticipated, DOBOR Engineer Finn McCall said that he expects there will be periodic, short closures as the barge moves around.