RickI wrote:It takes very little time to sign the petition, please help to keep this unique spot open to all these water interests now and into the future. Chris Levins of Adventure Sports Maui gave me a heads up on this, it is legitimate and a current threat to continued use of this area.
I'm wondering if you could find out from Chris L. if something has changed to put kite beach under 'threat'. Most of what follows is copy pasta from a reply I made to this sister thread on reddit
I thought it'd be helpful to provide some links to the actual rules concerning the governance at Kite Beach on Maui
and a statement of the issues as I understand them without opining, so that others may understand what's happening there.
The document in question is Chapter 256: Ocean Recreation Management Rules (and Areas)
. I'm guessing that file is an 'Unofficial Compilation' OCR'ed from the older, official document
. The rest of my links will be to the more readable OCR'ed doc.
Kite Beach/Ka'a Point is directly adjacent to the western edge of Kanaha Beach Park, which is part of the North Maui Ocean Recreation Management Area. It is administered by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, part of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The rules concerning the North Maui Ocean Recreation Management Area begin on page 256-123 (176 in the PDF)
The rules concerning the Kanaha Beach Park Restricted Zones specifically is §13-256-130, starting part way down page 256-126 (179 in the PDF)
The swimming area adjacent to the kite beach is "Swimming Zone C" as laid out in part 'd' on page 256-127 (180 in the PDF)
There is a map for reference (Exhibit "AAA") on page 185 of the PDF
, which is a crappier copy of the same map found on PDF page 85 of the older document
From my reading, even if the rules are strictly enforced there is no problem for kiters so long as it's after 11am and they stay west of Ka'a Point. The trouble comes when the wind shifts east. Kiters have historically used the western side of Swim Zone C (aka the 'fish pond'/swim area/'pro pool') to come in and land. If kitesurfers are considered "a vessel or sailboard" (which I haven't seen a DLNR ruling on), they would be violating the boundary of Swim Zone C.
Apparently, this wasn't much of a problem for anyone (including the DLNR) until Phillip Bolek/Botek (I've seen both used by Maui Now) and his family started frequenting the beach. He wrote a letter to Maui Now and the DLNR in May
. In order to address what he saw as a safety issue, he found the rules concerning Swim Zone C and asked the DLNR to enforce their rules. The DLNR stated that they would
. The way he went about doing this and his trolling on various kite forums ruffled a lot of feathers.
These are what I understand to be 'the facts'. Understanding that I'm half an ocean and most of a continent away from the place in question, the change.org petition isn't at all clear to me--which is troubling, since I'm able to parse obscure government documents. It also sounds hyperbolic. If they'd like to see the rules concerning the swim zones changed, they should reference them and suggest changes.
While I support the spirit of the petition, I read it as a lot of bluster without much substance. The stakeholders should also consider that asking for the rules to be changed may result in the opposite of their desired outcome if Mr. Bolek/Botek and his supporters are able to influence the DLNR in his favour.
All that being said, I've signed the petition since I'd like to visit and kite there one day. But as with most internet petitions, this one strikes me as a bit nebulous.
I've sent a link/copy of this to Ocean Safety Schools
, I welcome any comments, clarifications or questions.