My letter to Mr. Underwood and all the legislators listed:
Dear Mr. Underwood (and the legislators cc’ed):
I am writing regarding the proposed ban on kitesurfing and other water sports at Kanaha Beach Park. My family will be visiting Maui for the first time in December, for a 2-week vacation. A big part of our decision to visit Maui, versus other destinations, is to pursue my main recreational pursuit, kiteboarding.
Maui is an internationally renowned wind sport destination, and Kanaha Beach area is the center of this universe. People devote their lives to pursuing both kiting and windsurfing and I expect this access issue affects hundreds, if not thousands, of island residents. Furthermore, I expect kiting and windsurfing have a substantial impact on Maui’s local economy, with tourists such as our family spending thousands of dollars to pursue the sport. I will rent local gear, I will buy my family kiting lessons from locals, and we will pay for accommodations and eat in local restaurants. If access is denied, our vacation will suffer immensely and we will not likely be back – we will spend our money where this recreational pursuit is more welcome.
I understand there multiple user groups seeking access to this beach, including anglers, swimmers, paddlers, canoers, kayakers, windsurfers, and kiters. My understanding is that an informal pattern of use has been established over the past 20 years that is largely working. For example, the swimmers and anglers have unlimited access before 11am, when the wind is typically light. The wind enthusiasts’ access begins only after 11am. There are beaches that are reserved for surfer access, windsurfer access, and for kiting access. It appears to me that the stakeholders have worked out an access model that works for the vast majority of users. Though I understand there is also a very vocal minority that is seeking to shut this down and is not willing to consider compromise. With literally thousands of satisfied users imminently denied access, I urge you to consider the greater good in this access issue. I am sure there are numerous beaches that offer great swimming. However, there are very few beaches that offer the proper orientation and size for an appropriate kite launch.
It is my understanding it is a 25-year old rule that is at the heart of this matter. I suggest this rule did not anticipate the current use of this area with the variety of stakeholder groups involved and the numbers of users. Enforcement of this outdated rule will lead to significant unanticipated consequences to thousands of beach users -- I urge you to pursue the political avenues necessary to change this rule, in order to reach a beach access solution that addresses the shared use of this resource. I believe there is a consensus “win-win” solution here that can address both the needs and concerns of all stakeholder groups, allowing shared access for all.
I thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
PS and message to the Governor:
Dear Governor Abercrombie: please find below a letter I sent today to Mr. Underwood of DLNR and cc'ed to the legislators of Hawaii. Please consider becoming involved in this issue, as I believe a great injustice is imminent , unless rational minds prevail. I believe closing this access will be a startlingly poor political and economic decision, catering to a highly vocal minority while ignoring the greater good.
Last edited by juandesooka
on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.