Diamond Head Water Bottle Filling Station. Photo courtesy of DLNR

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will make it a little more easier for locals and residents to ditch plastic bottles. They just received a grant to add water bottle filling stations in state parks across Hawai‘i, including three parks on Kaua‘i; Ha‘ena State Park, Koke‘e State Park, and Wailua River State Park.

The DLNR, Division of State Parks has received a $100,396 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Debris Program to install water bottle filling stations in 15 State Parks statewide over the next three years, according to a DLNR news release. The goal of the project is to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles, which can become marine debris and harm Hawai‘i’s environment and 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 Hawai‘i.

The grant will be used to purchase a total of 19 water bottle filling stations. 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. Provide comments by Nov. 30 and direct them to Martha Yent, State Parks Interpretive Program, 1151 Punchbowl Street #310, Honolulu, HI  96813 or Martha.E.Yent@hawaii.gov

Water Bottle Filling Station Locations:

Kaua‘i:  Ha‘ena State Park, Koke‘e State Park, and Wailua River State Park.

Big Island: Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Kekaha Kai State Park, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, and Wailoa Center at Wailoa River State Recreation Area.

Maui:  Waianapanapa State Park

O‘ahu:  Ahupua‘a 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.