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Welcome to the Hawai‘i Island Commercial Harbors 2035 Master Plan update website. This Master Plan update aims to identify the needs of Hilo and Kawaihae harbors in the study year of 2035. We invite you to explore this website and provide your comments and suggestions on the project through our Contact Us section.
Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Hawai‘i is an island state located over 2,000 miles from the nearest significant land mass. Its residents pay for this geographic isolation with a near absolute dependence on ocean transportation for their sustenance. Eighty percent of all consumer goods are imported to Hawai‘i. Its ports process 98.6 percent of those imports. As such, ocean transportation is Hawai‘i’s lifeline to the world. It supports every facet of the local economy: tourism, construction, national defense, agriculture and all other industries.
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Harbors Division is responsible for the administration and management of the State commercial harbors system. Its master plans are long-range guides for port development. It is based on the knowledge and experience of the users of the facilities and their anticipation of future needs. It is also formulated using public input and in collaboration with government agencies and community groups