Atlantis Submarines

Atlantis Submarines Hawaii, LLC proposes to install an artificial reef offshore of Puamana Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii. The plan is to sink a vessel and/or engineered artificial reef structures to create an artificial reef to provide additional viewing opportunities for Atlantis submarine visitors, other commercial operations, and the general public.

The project site is an area known as Twin Peaks, located on the southern coast of Maui, approximately 0.5 miles southwest of Puamana Beach Park, south of Lahaina.

An Environmental Impact Statement was prepared to assess the potential for significant impacts of the artificial reef zone designation and subsequent proposed ship sinking and artificial reef construction. In support of the EIS, studies were conducted by the F&ES Department to address the potential for impacts to water quality, marine biological communities and natural marine resources in and adjacent to the proposed artificial reef site.

The study report presents the results of baseline water quality and marine biological surveys conducted in and adjacent to the Twin Peaks artificial reef site. The report also addresses the potential for impacts to water quality, marine biological communities and natural marine resources as a result of the proposed activities.

Specific concerns focus on the potential for changes to water quality conditions, and direct or indirect impacts on marine biological communities or natural resources which may result from the artificial reef placement.

The impact analysis concluded that while the concentrations of water quality parameters in this survey exceeded the water quality standard numerical criteria, they were typical of levels observed in similar surveys around the island of Maui and the other main Hawaiian Islands.

The impact analysis also concluded that bottom communities in the northeastern portion of the Twin Peaks site are predominantly soft bottom communities dominated by extensive beads of Halimeda.

The placement of the ship proposed for the northeastern corner of the Twin peaks site would have little direct effect on bottom communities of the area. Fish are highly mobile and would not be directly impacted by the placement of artificial reef structure within the Twin Peaks site.

In other areas of the Hawaiian Islands, the placement of ships and other artificial substrate has resulted in the aggregation of small to large numbers of fish around the new structure. The placement of the ship and potentially other artificial reef structure at the Twin Peaks site could be expected to result in the same fish aggregation as seen elsewhere.

The impact analysis did not foresee any significant negative impacts to water quality or biological communities in the Twin Peaks site; rather, the analysis suggests the proposed artificial reefs will enhance local fish communities by providing structure and shelter in an otherwise relatively flat and featureless bottom.