WEST MAUI – The State Department of Lands and Natural Resources has prepared a draft management plan for the state lands between Honolua Bay and Honokohau Bay in West Maui.
The Honolua to Honokohau Management Plan Public Review Project (HHMP) is available for review via https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/plans-reports/.
John Summers of Planning Consultants Hawaii LLC led a briefing on Zoom last week on Tuesday, November 30, to present the plan’s key recommendations.
The state acquired this area in 2014 as a result of a considerable effort by the Save Honolua Coalition and the community to manage the development of agricultural land surrounding Honolua Bay.
Summers noted that the goal of the HHMP project is to provide a comprehensive strategy for the land stewardship of the Makai State of the Honoapiilani highway between the two bays.
The marine waters of Honolua Bay lie within the 45-acre Honolua-Mokule’ia Marine Life Conservation District, and just beyond that, the marine waters off Molokai are found in the Hawaiian Islands National Humpback Whale Sanctuary.
The plan area of over 244 acres extends just east of the Honolua Bay Access Trail to the east side of Honokohau Creek.
“There are enormous resources in the project area which really make it a special and special place”, Summers said.
“Again, we have nearly four miles of undeveloped coastline with panoramic makai views over the Pailolo and Molokai and Lanai canal, and mauka views – magnificent mauka views – of Mauna Kahalawai,” He continued.
“The area is rich in historic and archaeological sites representative of Hawaii before and after contact. Although shrinking, the coastal fringe between Lipoa Point and Honokohau has more native plant species than any other similar length of coast on Maui.
“Internationally recognized surf and snorkeling resources are abundant in the region.”
During the plan scoping meetings, residents named development, runoff, overexploitation, sedimentation, preservation, and tourism impacts among their primary concerns.
Likewise, the HHMP project enumerates climate change, heavy human use, storm runoff and coastal water quality, protection and restoration of natural resources, upland development and resource constraints and management. fragmented as the main challenges of the plot.
Actions proposed to help fund the plan and achieve its goals include:
• Hire a full-time regional HHMP manager, and develop and implement a financial plan to support the implementation of the plan.
• Establish a fee for non-resident visitors to access Honolua Bay from land via the Honolua Bay Access Trail, and use the revenue generated from the fees for the implementation of the HHMP.
• Minimize improvements, construction and development, and discourage upland land uses that could threaten the cultural, natural or aesthetic resources of the HHMP area.
• Develop a comprehensive signage plan to ensure signs are installed in a coordinated fashion and designed to respect the sense of belonging of the area.
• Develop a trail maintenance program to ensure trail safety and discourage hikers from straying off trails and into dangerous and culturally sensitive areas.
• Provide a helipad for emergency evacuations near the upper third of the access aisle to Lipoa Point.
• Establish a daily cap on the number of non-resident visitors accessing Honolua Bay from land via the Honolua Bay Access Trail.
• Provide on-site management to deter property theft, trespassing, squatting and other unwanted activities.
• Continue to support regular garbage collection and bulky item disposal programs.
• Restore and perpetuate the generational knowledge of the Native Hawaiian community beginning with awareness and education of the local Hawaiian keiki.
• Prepare an archaeological monitoring plan for Honolua Bay and have it reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Division prior to any underground work in the Honolua Bay area.
• Minimize land-based sources of pollution in the Honolua-Mokule’ia Marine Life Conservation District and other coastal waters.
• Restore and protect native plant and wildlife communities along the coastal fringe from Pohakupule to Punalau, Punalau Point and Kamane.
Plans call for hiring staff and carrying out improvements in 4 phases of five years at an estimated cost of $ 18,368,925.
There will be additional opportunities for the community to provide feedback on the draft PGHH in 2022 as part of the environmental assessment preparation process in 2022 and 2023.
The state hopes to finalize the plan and submit it for approval to the Land and Natural Resources Council in 2023.