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Army Corps should hold hearing on new Lahaina Harbor ferry pier

By Staff | Aug 2, 2018

Assisted by the Surfrider Foundation-Maui Chapter, some 2,000 Maui surfers have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing for a proposed state project to build a new ferry pier at Lahaina Harbor.

Their chief concern is if a new 115-foot-long, 20-foot-wide pier constructed 70 feet north of the existing loading dock – very close to the metal stairs into the water built for surfers – will impact the quality of the Keawaiki (“Harbor”) surf spot.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement concludes that the project won’t affect the popular surf break, because no reef will be dredged, and Lahaina Harbor’s main breakwater will not be altered.

Wave science is tricky, however, and the new pier could cause backwash and refraction to the surf break or change sand buildup in the area.

Surfers also deserve to hear what will happen during construction and how vessel traffic will change if the pier is built.

The state reported that the proposed new ferry pier will not be available for use by cruise ship tenders. With the Molokai Ferry now closed, is this project still needed?

A request for information on a potential hearing wasn’t returned as of press time Friday morning. The Army Corps should hold a hearing to answer surfers’ questions.