The state is adding a new green feature to some of its parks.
There will be water bottle filling stations.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks just got a $100,396 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to get 19 of these water bottle filling stations.
They’ll be added to 15 state parks over the next three years.
The goal is to reduce the use of plastic water bottles, which can end up in the ocean and hurt the marine life.
Park visitors will be encouraged to bring their refillable water bottles to the parks where they can be filled when hiking, walking, picnicking, sight-seeing, playing sports, or going to the beach.
The project also includes interpretive signs, creation of an educational video, social media and web posts and brochures about the harmful impacts of marine debris and what people can do to help reduce debris created in Hawaii.
State Parks will use Capitol Improvement Project (CIP) funds to install the stations.
Additionally State Parks will coordinate several beach clean-ups over the three-year period to address the accumulation of marine debris in our coastal parks.
Clean-up schedules will be posted on the State Parks website and volunteers will be invited to help.
“State Parks is excited to be able to play a role in helping to reduce plastic debris by providing these water bottle filling stations. 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” said Curt Cottrell, DLNR State Parks Administrator.
There currently is only one filling station and it’s located at Diamond Head State Monument.
This station is heavily used by those hiking the trail to the summit of the crater and indicates the value of expanding these stations to other parks.
Many of these water bottle filling stations will replace existing water fountains at park restrooms and pavilions so minimal disturbance is anticipated.
However, to comply with the federal grant requirements, state parks would like to hear from people about any concerns, especially in regards to cultural sites that could be affected.
Please provide comments by November 30 and direct them to Martha Yent, State Parks Interpretive Program, 1151 Punchbowl Street #310, Honolulu, HI 96813 or Martha.E.Yent@hawaii.gov