Puako sewage treatment

Dear Puako Community Association,

In previous trips to Hawaii, we read about Puako, but were unable to find the reef, despite having a general idea of where it is.

I recently read about your problems with sewage leaking into the ocean and destroying the reefs, and how you cannot fix such an expensive problem all by yourselves.

I totally understand your dilemma, as setting up treatment plants and sewage treatment is extremely expensive.  And getting help from government is not a very easy thing to do.

I have a suggestion:  Puako is a popular destination for snorkeling but I think, from looking at maps and aerial views of the area, there is very little public access to the reef.  That is probably something the local homeowners like a lot, but not so much the rest of the public that feels excluded from good snorkeling.

If you wanted to raise money for the sewage treatment, one way might be to increase the accessibility to the reef  and snorkeling areas between the homes, and put up collection boxes, or even pay parking areas, so that those who would come and enjoy the area could contribute to the clean-up.  The limiting of visitors could be achieved by somewhat limiting the parking spots, while achieving a good balance between enough spots to really derive a good income from the parking fees, while not too many to detract from the enjoyment of the area by too many visitors.  You could also set time limits to the parking (like maybe 3 hours), so that people would not use up a parking spot all day.  It would be a win-win situation.  True, the area would not be that exclusive to the present residents, but there would be a means to raise enough money to fix the sewage problem and to clean up the ocean.

Just a suggestion.  Someday, I would like to be able to come to Puako and do some snorkeling, and paying parking fees would not be an onerous thing to do.


Ana Porzecanski