Newsletter: April 2017

Lake News: DDP Extension, City moving sand, Councilman Anderson & lake health, more…

DPP Extension: Signed, sealed and delivered!

Many ELRA members will recall Board members visiting them at home or contacting them by email and phone to get their approval to extend the DPP.  The Board is pleased to report that the DPP Documents were signed by the Kamehameha School Trustees on December 13, 2016. ELRA officers signed on December 22, 2016 and the next day the documents were recorded.

This was a long campaign and the ELRA board is very grateful to those members who signed and sometimes re-signed the documents. The 2016 extension will be in effect for 50 years.

To remind you of the significance of this action, please recall that when the development began around Enchanted Lake, starting in the early 1960s, the landowner Kamehameha Schools (then Bishop Estate) set out broad guidelines regarding use and care of the lake. The original DPP was completed in 1962 and had been supplemented and extended several times.  Most significantly in 1987, as the fee-interest in the lots were sold by Kamehameha Schools, the declaration further strengthened the language surrounding the ability to collect ‘general assessments to provide for the care, maintenance and operation of Enchanted Lake’. The DPP and this 1987 supplement were then referenced in each one of our fee simple deeds. These assessments are what allow us to pay for lake cleanup, insurance, the security boat and other activities to maintain the lake.

Via the 2016 DPP extension, we can set forth longer-term sustainability prospects for the lake and more clearly provide for a secure lake future.

Thanks again to the dedicated ELRA board members and all the property owners around the lake whose signatures made this happen!

City to move sand they collected from the stream openings

The city will begin work on Monday April 3 to move a pile of sand from Kailua Beach Park near the stream mouth towards the boat ramp area of Kailua Beach Park.  The sand pile, estimated at 400 cubic yards, was removed from the stream mouth and piled on top of the dunes fronting the comfort station in February 2016.  The project will require the closure of parts of the park near the work site and is expected to be finished by April 7.

The city says the relocation addresses the accumulation of sand at the mouth of the stream, opening the flow of water and reducing the risk of flooding. We’re told that mountain of sand accumulated from over a year ago is the sole focus of the city’s “sand pushing.” They will not conduct an opening of the stream as part of this project.

There were only 4 stream mouth openings in 2016, and only 2 so far this year. The city verbally committed to open the stream every 6 weeks (8 openings per year). ELRA believes one opening per month is the minimum needed. The most recent “opening” was conducted by the City on March 1, at high tide, and therefore quickly closed resulting in almost no exchange of the stream with the ocean.

Three quick ways to improve the lake

Ikaika Anderson and his senior aide, Andrew Malahoff, met with us in mid-March to discuss how the city could do more to help improve Kaelepulu pond and Kailua’s streams, canals and bay. As a result of this meeting we came up with 3 important improvements that could be implemented quickly by the City with minimum labor and materials – and that Ikaika Anderson, as our councilman, could make happen.

Six Long-Range Actions

During the meeting, we detailed the 6 actions that we believe need to be accomplished to restore ecosystem functions and services to Kailua Waterways:

  1. Eliminate all mangroves from the system
  2. Restore circulation flow through selective dredging of sediment deposited by storm drains into Kaelepulu pond
  3. Ensure the City conducts effective monthly openings of the stream mouth to the sea (at Kailua Beach Park near Buzz’s)
  4. Control pollutants and debris in City storm drains before they enter the waterways.
  5. Restore partial flow from Kawainui Marsh to the Kailua Waterways
  6. Control heavy sediment loads in runoff from construction sites from entering the waterways

Councilman Ikaika’s office could assist with actions 1, 2, 3, and 4 which are under the city’s control.  Actions 5 and 6 are being coordinated with State agencies.

Three Quick to Roll-out Projects

While most of the six actions above are long-term projects that must go through the budget and permitting process there are three things could be implemented quickly by the City with minimum labor and materials — and that Ikaika Anderson, as our councilman, could make happen:

  1. Repair the internal sediment retention berm within the Kaopa flood control basin.
    WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: Repair of eroded sections of the berm will prevent significant quantities of sediment from being deposited into the Kaelepulu Wetland and Pond via the hardened Kaelepulu Stream city channel (adjacent to the Keolu skateboard park).
  1. Get a commitment from the DFM director that they will open the Kaelepulu Canal to the sea on a monthly basis for a period of not less than 25% of the month.
    WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: There was once a natural and nearly constant interchange of water between the pond and the ocean before the flood control berm at Kawainui Marsh was built. The combined flow of fresh water (from streams and Kawainui Marsh) and saltwater from the ocean created the brackish water of Kaelepulu Pond. There are many species that need both saltwater and brackish water in order to thrive, these include mullet, milkfish and papio. With regular openings, particularly in the spring, schools of the young, small fish are able to find refuge and abundant food in the lake. As the fish mature, they return to the ocean to spawn. Also, without regular openings to the ocean, the salinity in the pond decreases and water level drops — this sets the stage for algae blooms, fish die-offs and horrible smells.
  1. Install a temporary floating flotsam diversion boom on the north (Kailua) side of the channel to prevent floating debris from entering the beach park.

    Trash & seaweed collection boom

    This is in addition to the floating boom that the city installs below the Lanikai Bridge whenever they conduct a planned opening. This floating collection boom would be put in place every time the berm was opened. The temporary floating boom and the debris it collects would be removed once the stream was no longer open to the ocean.
    WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: Collection of algae and other debris (much of it deposited by storm drains) before it makes its way to the bay or beach will help keep the bay and beach cleaner and go a long way towards addressing concerns over trash that is deposited on Kailua Beach associated with stream openings.

You can help make it happen

Please let Councilmember Anderson know that this is important to you. Send him an email or, even better, make a copy of your email and also send it via snail mail to:

Councilman Ikaika Anderson
530 South King Street, Room 202
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: 768-5003


Looking for Cleanup Company for Enchanted Lake Maintenance

The ELRA board is interested in hiring a company to collect trash and debris from around the lake once or twice a month on an ongoing basis. All the cleanup work would be done from shore. If you know of a good yard maintenance company or a hardworking individual (with a GE tax license) please send their contact info to