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Posted on Jul 13, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – Providing insights for future development proposals for the State’s largest small boat harbor is the purpose of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor Vision Report, prepared by the University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) held numerous public and stakeholder engagement meetings and focus groups between 2017 and 2021 to inform the vision report.

It outlines two concept design possibilities for future harbor area development. Both options maintain essential harbor functions, offer access to a variety of watercraft, provide inclusive community gathering spaces and amenities for all users, and incorporate adaptation strategies for climate change, such as sea level rise.

Some of the highlights of the vision report include:

  • green spaces, lawns and gardens for social gatherings and community events
  • conference space and outdoor classrooms for local community/school groups
  • flexible mixed-use plaza space for cafes, event kiosks, and retail offerings
  • commercial and public boat and watercraft access, parking and storage facilities
  • a living shoreline marsh to provide native habitat for shore birds, fish and crustaceans
  • a multi-modal promenade and elevated boardwalk to serve as a primary connector to the harbor for pedestrians and bicyclists

Currently Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor has 699 berths, 85 moorings, 22 dry storage spaces, a vessel washdown area, a small boat ramp and a harbor office.

Significant proposed updates to the harbor include:

  • Maritime Welcome Center
  • Market Plaza
  • Education and Community Center
  • Watercraft Park
  • Surf Community Center

Ed Underwood, DOBOR Administrator said, “These enhancements would add exciting elements that would benefit all harbor users.”

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)


HD video – Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor (May 7, 2022):


Photographs – Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor (May 7, 2022):


For more information, including greater detail on context, concept designs, management precedents and cost estimates, view the full Vision Report here.



Media Contact:

Ryan Aguilar

Communications Specialist

Hawai’i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]