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Land board approves surf school rules for Kahaluu Bay

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The rules for commercial surfing lessons at Kahaluu Bay have been amended by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

In a Thursday meeting, the land board unanimously approved amended rules for the bay, located on Hawaii island’s Kona coast. The approved rules limit permitted commercial operators in Zone A of Kahaluu Bay to having four students, regardless of the number of instructors in the water.

Zone A is the only part of the bay where commercial surf instruction is allowed.

Two public hearings on the amended rules were held by the state before the board’s approval on Thursday.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation had recommended that the BLNR remove a proposal to create eight permits with shifts and instead maintain the rule that implements four surf instruction permits without shifts.

Testifiers brought up concerns about damage to coral and harm to sea life by surf schools. Other concerns involve parking, user conflicts, overcrowding and lack of enforcement for rules at Kahaluu Bay.

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