Original posting from July 14, 2009 – The Maui Public Works Dept recently altered the dunes north of the Maui Lu in an effort to mitigate the problems of blowing sand and subsequent dangerous driving situations along South Kihei Rd. The Planning Dept. then indicated that a permit for such work was necessary and the Public Works Dept complied with that request. A water truck currently irrigates the area to promote the re-growth of native dune plants that survived the alteration and also to help keep sand in place by wetting it down. Unfortunately, the fragile dune system along that stretch of road is quickly becoming eroded from wind, sea, and usage by people unfamiliar with the fragility of the dune.
Properties near the site can be vulnerable to the ocean conditions and it is essential to restore and maintain a strong dune system. As part of the solution, cooperation has been established between the University of Hawaii Sea Grant program, County, and State agencies. Under their guidance, volunteers will install sand fencing and hundreds of native plants to help strengthen the dune system more rapidly. Part of the dune management plan includes road-to-beach pathways that are oriented away from the prevailing trade winds so that blowing sand from the beach does not funnel through them and onto the road. Every dune management site is unique and this site is a challenge because of the proximity of the dune to a major roadway. Mahalo for your caution at this site during the rebuilding process.
If your school, group, or club would like to work with on this project , please contact the Kihei Community Association office at 879-5390. We all share the resource- let’s share in the work.