Maui Tomorrow Urges Testimony in Support of Pe’ahi Protection
By Wendy Osher
The Maui Tomorrow organization is backing the proposed purchase of land around Peʻahi on Maui’s North Shore for use as open space.
The group hopes the County of Maui will invest more funds towards the purchase of the property to protect it from future development.
The 2016 fiscal year budget includes a $3 million appropriation for the county’s acquisition of 267 acres from Kuiaha to Peʻahi, along Maui’s Hamakualoa Coast on the North Shore.
Organization leaders from Maui Tomorrow say that while funds are allocated, more than $10 million is needed to ensure protection.
The subject parcel is located in the Haʻikū-Kuiaha region east of Pāʻia and is currently owned by A&B Properties. The property is also near the iconic big-wave surf spot of Peʻahi, often referred to as “Jaws.”
Organization leaders are also urging public testimony in support of preservation saying residents can offer their voice to the issue during the Mayor’s 2017 budget meetings: on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Haʻikū Community Center; and on Wed. Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.
In an email communication, organization leaders stated that, “The Mayor needs to know the people care.” It went on to say that the site is an, “important place for our kupuna and should be protected to give them a place to pass on traditional knowledge of many cultures.”
According to Maui Tomorrow, “there are many groups who want to put the lands to good use and help serve community needs,” that could include farming, trails, cultural education, a camping area for youth programs, surf contest access and community use.
Earlier this month, the Surfrider Maui group joined partner organizations in hosing a “Protect Pe’ahi” stakeholders meeting. The groups had hoped to come up with a collaborative solution to protect the North Shore coastal area and address community needs.