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County making popular parks more accessible to ocean users on Sundays

By Staff | Dec 12, 2019

The County of Maui last week announced a move that will make “Weekend Warrior” ocean enthusiasts pleased.

The county will prohibit Commercial Ocean Recreation Activities at county beach parks on Sundays and holidays starting Jan. 1, 2020, following review of comments from the community and CORA permit holders.

The West Maui beach parks are Papalaua, Ukumehame, Kamehameha Iki, Wahikuli Wayside, Hanakao’o and D.T. Fleming.

Mayor Michael Victorino and the Department of Parks and Recreation met with the permit holders on Oct. 23 to receive input regarding the proposed change.

A letter notifying CORA permit holders of the change was sent last week.

“I want to sincerely thank our commercial operators for working with us and providing their input to help address this issue,” Victorino said.

“Demand on our county parks continues to grow alongside increased visitor numbers, so I believe it’s vital that we strive to preserve our beaches for our residents. My hope is that our local children and families will be able to enjoy time together at the beach with more space and less crowds.”

For his part, the mayor has committed to not proposing any increase to permit fees for Fiscal Year 2021, and he will request funding in the budget for a study of county parks not included in a 2006 CORA study.

The study available at www.mauicounty.gov/1159/CORA details park uses and permit holders.

The county may also want to consider banning commercial activities on Saturdays at Hanakao’o Beach Park (Canoe Beach), where West Side canoe clubs are always practicing and hosting regattas.

Sunday already seems to be an unofficial day off for the surf schools in Lahaina, but if the county rule is enforced, it should free up parking and room in the ocean for residents to enjoy Maui’s popular parks.