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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, July 29, 2006

Erosion closes popular Maui beach

Advertiser Staff

As Baldwin Beach Park's shoreline erodes, falling ironwood trees are becoming a hazard. County officials have temporarily closed the park until the fallen ironwoods, also called casuarinas, can be removed.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

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PA'IA, Maui Baldwin Beach Park, a popular swimming and bodysurfing spot on Maui's north shore, will remain closed over the weekend while crews remove ironwood trees that pose a danger to beachgoers.

The park was closed Wednesday after waves uprooted one tree and left two others leaning precipitously at the Pa'ia end of the beach. The county hired Malafu Contractors to cut down and remove a dozen 20- to 40-foot-tall trees whose roots had been undermined by erosion from high surf, said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Glenn Correa.

Park workers tried cordoning off the area so that the rest of the park could remain open, but people were ignoring the hazard warnings, so it was necessary to close the entire park, Correa said.

The tree removal was to have been finished yesterday, but Correa said the job is proving more difficult than expected. The contractor had to bring in a crane to move the larger stumps off the beach and out of the ocean, he said.

Erosion has become a serious problem along the island's north shore, Correa said, from the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course to the county's Kanaha Beach Park and beyond.