Water filling stations will be installed at 15 parks in Hawaii, according to state officials, in an effort to reduce single-use plastic water bottles.
The Division of State Parks received a federal grant of $100,396 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program for the water bottle filling stations. Currently, the state has one filling station at Diamond Head State Monument, which is heavily used by hikers.
Visitors who are hiking, sight-seeing and picnicking will be encouraged to bring their refillable water bottles to the parks.
“State Parks is excited to be able to play a role in helping to reduce plastic debris by providing these water bottle filling stations,” said state parks administrator Curt Cottrell in a news release. “With over 11 million people using our parks annually, we have the potential to change behavior and make a difference in the use of single-use water bottles statewide.”
The grant will be used to purchase a total of 19 water bottle filling stations at 15 parks in Hawaii over the next three years, with interpretive signs. The state will also produce an educational video, brochures and social media posts about ways to reduce marine debris in Hawaii. In addition, it will coordinate several beach clean-ups over the three-year period.
Many of the water bottle filling stations will replace existing water fountains at park restrooms and pavilions, State Parks officials said, so minimal disturbance is anticipated.
The locations where the water filling stations will be installed are:
>> Hawaii island: Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Kekaha Kai State Park, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park and Wailoa Center at Wailoa River State Recreation Area.
>> Kauai: Haena State Park, Kokee State Park, and Wailua River State Park.
>> Maui: Waianapanapa State Park.
>> Oahu: Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park, Diamond Head State Monument, Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area, Makiki Valley State Recreation Area, Malaekahana State Recreation Area, Sand Island State Recreation Area and Waahila Ridge State Recreation Area.
Comments from the public about the project, especially in regards to cultural sites that could be affected, should be provided by Nov. 30 to Martha Yent, State Parks Interpretive Program, 1151 Punchbowl Street #310, Honolulu, HI 96813 or by email to Martha.E.Yent@hawaii.gov.