Saturday, January 27, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Traffic Hotspots
School Calendar
E-The People
Email Lawmakers
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Saturday, January 27, 2001

Maui commits to coastal preservation

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui Bureau

WAILUKU, Maui — Calling the environment critical to both Maui County’s economy and the well-being of its citizens, Mayor James "Kimo’’ Apana yesterday announced a $1 million donation to a new organization that aims to preserve coastal open space and beach access.

Apana said he wants the county contribution to be used by the Maui Coastal Preservation Trust as seed money to help attract additional money for land acquisition.

"The preservation of open space benefits everyone,’’ Apana said in his annual State of the County address in the chambers of the Maui County Council.

"It is time to put aside the false arguments of economic growth vs. the economy. In truth, our environment is critical to our economy, our health and to the well-being of all citizens.’’

Apana said he hopes to partner with the Maui Coastal Preservation Trust to preserve beaches and other land areas.

Trust president Tom Pierce said he was ecstatic at the mayor’s announcement.

"That’s fantastic,’’ said Pierce, a Wailuku attorney. "We’re very interested in working with the county. We’re hoping this is the beginning of something that will get only bigger and greater as the years go forward.’’

The land trust was formed recently by a group of residents after more than six months of planning, and with the help of grants from the Trust for Public Lands and the Environmental Support Center.

The idea emerged after a community campaign to save Palauea Beach from luxury home development, and after Maui County could buy only two of nine large lots fronting the beach near the Wailea resort. Also, several other oceanfront lands are being considered for, or are already earmarked for, development.

A survey last summer by the Trust for Public Land found that nearly 80 percent of Maui’s residents want more county spending on land, air and water protection, and most of those wanted it increased substantially.

Apana said preserving the environment would be among his administration’s top priorities in the coming year.

He said he plans to work with the Paia and Haiku communities to prepare amendments to the area’s Community Plan to ensure continuous open space along the coastline from Kuau to Haiku. He described the area as "Maui’s Big Sur,’’ a reference to the Northern California coastal region.

The county will also work with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to preserve lands within its control along "this magnificent ocean view corridor,’’ he said.

In addition, Apana said the county would work to restore beaches affected by severe erosion. A county program to restore and nourish the eroded beach at Halama Street in Kihei has been a success, using sand dredged at a state harbor, he said.

"We now know that beach nourishment is the most cost-effective way to expand our beaches,’’ the mayor said.

Scientists estimate 30 percent of Maui’s shoreline has experienced beach loss or significant narrowing.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
Weather | Traffic Hotspots | Obituaries | School Calendar | Email Lawmakers
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.