Focus group meetings to start

As promised, DOBOR has initiated a process to obtain community input on changing the administrative rules governing Kanaha. They have hired a facilitator who will conduct four meetings in April and May, with the goal of generating a recommendation to DOBOR for future management of the area. Representatives from each of the concerned user groups at Kanaha have been asked to participate.

Some details from the meeting agenda:

The Vision:
To engage selected community stakeholders in an open dialogue regarding the use, care and management of the public space located at Zones A, B, C in the Kanaha recreation area through the use of a facilitated process over the course of 4 meeting dates

The Goal:
To collaboratively create a written recommendation to be submitted to the DOBOR Chair for consideration of how area will be managed, cared for and utilized in the future

Working group to form

In December, in addition to the phased approach to buoy installation, DLNR Chairperson William Aila suggested formation of a working group to draft an amendment that the Department can support. It will likely be led by DOCARE Chief Randy Awo, and include representatives from each of the activities that utilize the park. The draft HAR 13-256-130 amendment submitted by the MBA Swim Zone Committee will be the starting point. No meeting dates have been set, but the department did indicate a desire to change the rules as soon as possible. The community is pleased and grateful that the Department wishes to work with the user groups to amend the rules to better reflect acceptable uses.

Thank you so much to everyone who has gotten involved so far. Local efforts have been crucial to helping state and local officials understand the disruption that hasty enforcement could have brought. Expressions of concern from all over the world have also made it clear to them how important Kanaha is, not only to local park users, but also to the worldwide windsport community.

We appreciate your ongoing support, in the form of constructive participation in the working group and amendment process, observing existing rules, especially regarding the safety of others, and respecting all users and the amazing resources we are privileged to enjoy.

“Phased approach” planned for buoy installation

We are very happy to report that we recently had a productive meeting with the DLNR Chairperson, William Aila and many others to whom you have written. The Department has heard your concerns and would like to work with the community to amend the rules to better reflect acceptable uses. We are confident that when we finish the process, our beloved Kanaha will be an even better and safer place for all. A phased approach to buoy installation will be implemented at Ka’a Point, where the trouble began. This approach will mitigate disruption at Lowers and Uppers during the amendment process.

As a reminder, all vessels are governed by Coast Guard Right-of-Way Rules and other State Rules for the North Shore Maui Ocean Recreation Management Area.

Existing Coast Guard Right-of-Way rules include

  • Starboard (right hand forward) has right of way over port.
  • Windward vessel shall keep clear of leeward vessel.
  • Overtaking vessel shall keep clear of the vessel she is overtaking.
  • A vessel under way must keep clear of a vessel restricted in ability to maneuver. (So kites and windsurfers would almost always give way to outrigger canoes, the only exception being when the canoe is underway and the kite or windsurfer is down – not under way.)

Existing State of Hawaii safety rules include

  • Windsurfers and Kitesurfers shall approach no closer than 200′ to a dive flag.
  • Windsurfers and Kitesurfers are restricted to “slow, no-wake” within 200′ of a shoreline, a swimmer, or another vessel that is not under way (like a canoe resting between sprints.)
  • No windsurfing or kitesurfing before 11 am, except beginner windsurfing may commence at 9 am at Uppers/Kooks beach within 300′ of shoreline. (To give divers unhindered access to the reef while winds are normally light anyway.)
  • Reckless or careless operation of a vessel is prohibited at all places and all times.



Amendment proposal submitted

Amendment package

Amendment package including cover letter and supporting documentation

Today the amendment petition was submitted to DLNR, consisting of the HAR 13-256-130 amendment text and map, plus supporting information. The amendment process is clearly defined in HAR 13-1-26. DLNR-DOBOR has 30 days to deny the petition or initiate public rulemaking procedures. Of course we are hoping for the latter, but it is not a foregone conclusion by any stretch.

Proposed Swim Zone Map

Proposed Swim Zone Map

Proposed Swim Zone Map

Proposed Swim Zone Map

Here is the cover letter to DLNR.

The Maui Boardsailing Association Swim Zone Committee spent months researching rules, meeting with officials, meeting with groups and individuals, negotiating for support, developing a proposal and trying to build the necessary coalition. Mahalo to Dennis O’Donnell, President of the MBA, and Swim Zone Committee members Patricia Cadiz, Gary Elster, and John Crews. Mahalo also to the many organizations, businesses, and individuals who provided input and expressed their support. Broad user community input and support is crucial to amending the rules.

Now is the time for coalition building with all interested parties. In particular, if you have friends or family that fish, dive or canoe paddle at Kanaha, please seek them out and let them know that this is important to all of us. The best way to ensure a pono outcome is if all the user groups work together before any public hearings so that a unified voice is heard. Please share the proposal and support speedy amendment, and delay of installation during the amendment process.


New sign at Lowers

New sign installed at Lowers

New sign installed at Lowers

DLNR installed this sign around September 17.

There is also one with an enlarged picture of Swim Zone C at “Naish Beach” aka “the keyhole” and one with an enlarged picture of Swim Zone A at the groin upwind of the beginner cove.


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