Public Beach Access Maui
Public Beach Access Maui
For over one mile in Honokowai, Lahaina, Maui from Honokowai Beach Park to Pohaku Park(S-Turns) there are at least two beautiful beaches, a popular surf spot named Kuleanas, and public shoreline access BLOCKED!
We used to fish, surf and dive along here for many years and now access is completely gone. Private property owners have recently installed fencing and hired surly managers to call the police on any trespassers/intruders. Many in the community have told me stories of being harassed by management and police officers. The neighborhood kids have nowhere to go diving, crabbing, fishing. My own children have been told they don't belong on this public beach and to leave! I have had police officers come walking on the sand and try to arrest me. I'm done-this must end. We, the public, demand access! We will present this petition to Maui County, The State of Hawaii and Resort owners to request they enforce and provide public access. If you want to help or share your story please contact me. Malama pono!
What’s going on?
For decades, developers have been crowding West Maui’s shoreline with hotels, condos, and commercial operations. Longtime beachgoers are told they cannot access the shoreline or else are trespassing. Parking is taken up by tourist-industry customers and employees. We need to reclaim our shoreline access points now or risk losing them forever.
Where? Currently, our efforts are focused on the stretch from Kā‘anapali Beach to Napili Point because that is where many private owners are blocking or obstructing public shoreline access.
Why is there a problem?
The county is supposed to require public access rights of way or easements for each subdivision . Maui’s subdivision ordinance requires public access intervals of not greater than 1500 ft and a minimum width of 15 ft. The state requires the county to acquire land for public shoreline access in any case. HRS §115-2. The Planning Commission also imposes shoreline access conditions on shoreline development. But these laws are not uniformly enforced so the community needs to step in.
Who’s behind this effort?
Nā Papa‘i o Wawae ‘Ula‘ula is an unincorporated community association of West Maui residents and other beach users who are concerned about protecting and preserving the quality of life and environment for West Maui communities particularly as its relates to the public’s use and access of the shoreline. Literally, our name means “the red-footed crabs.” Wawae 'ula'ula ("red-footed") refers to the people of Kā‘anapali district who were identified as "red-footed" because of their red-dirt colored feet.
How do we help?
Nā Papa‘i is organizing to advocate for the public’s right to access West Maui shorelines by appealing to the county and state to enforce shoreline access laws and using our rights to access the shoreline either by long use by the public or by exercising our traditional and customary rights. By bringing our rights to the attention of private property owners, we can negotiate with them for reasonable shoreline access for West Maui communities and beach goers.