Kanaha Beach Park Master Plan Community Open House

082516 KBP Open House Flyer2

You’re invited to a community open house on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The open house will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Waikapū Community Center located at 22 East Waiko Road. You can visit the open house at any time between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. and are free to review the exhibits and draft recommendations and contribute your ideas at your own pace. The input received through the open house will inform the preparation of the final master plan.

The Maui County Parks Department sought input on the Kanahā Beach Park Master Plan last year. They have analyzed that input and prepared draft conceptual recommendations and drawings for the park, which will be available for you to view and comment on at the open house. Parks staff and consultants working on the project will be on hand to answer questions and listen to comments.

Download the flyer to print or share.


Report and notes from fourth working group meeting: amendment proposal

Kanaha focus group proposal for reconfiguration of swim zones

Kanaha focus group proposal for reconfiguration of swim zones

At the fourth and final meeting on May 27, 2014, DOCARE officers presented their proposal for amending the Kanaha swim zone rules, based on their understanding of participants’ wishes and concerns as expressed in the first three meetings. They showed a map of the proposed swim zones and addressed them in order, ABCD. This final meeting was the only one at which any detailed discussion of (current) swim zone C (proposed swim zone D), near the kiting beaches and the site of the initial confrontation, was allowed. They listened to comments and corrections from the group. There were a few people present, who had not been to any previous meetings, who took up quite a bit of time voicing their own opinions.

At the end of the meeting, the recommendations were voted on. Notes were taken of comments and opposing opinions. Here is the summary of meeting #4 (PDF). The DOCARE officers said they would formalize the recommendations into a format to send to DLNR for them to proceed with the rule-making process. Steps in that process will include legal review by the attorney general’s office, public notice of proposed changes, and public hearing on the proposed changes (more detail here). No dates have been announced for any next steps.

The letter and attachments below were sent on September 16, 2014, to Randy Awo (DOCARE Administrator), Ed Underwood (DOBOR Administrator), and Paul Sensano (Maui District DOBOR Manager), and copied to each of the participants in the working group. These are the DOCARE officer recommendations mentioned above. For reference, here are the current rules.

Randy, Ed, Paul,

Attached please find the final recommendations from the Kanaha Focus Group for your review and forwarding to Chairperson Aila. These recommendations were developed as the result of four facilitated meetings with a diverse group of representatives from the various interest groups of the Kanaha area. As you know, these recommendations reflect the proposal that received the most favorable votes however, it is noted that not all participants are in complete agreement with all the recommendations. Further, these proposals only address activities within the waters of the North Maui Ocean Recreation Management Area (ORMA). All participants are anxious for the rule making process to begin.

The notes for the four meetings provided by Mediation Services of Maui are also attached for reference.

Brooks Tamaye

Attachments (PDF):
Proposed Kanaha Swim Zones Map
Proposed amendment to North Shore ORMA section
Notes from all 4 working group meetings

Notes from third working group meeting

Swim zone

Some volunteers anchored the end of the swim zone buoy line that had been floating free, to close off the western end of the swimming area.

Notes from the third meeting

Here are the notes from the third working group meeting (May 12).
Summary of notes (PDF): Kanaha Focus Group Note Summary #3
Spreadsheet of goals (PDF): Kanaha Focus Group Common Goals Spreadsheet
See also my report from this meeting.

Attached, please find 2 documents. One is a summary of the notes with each sections responses organized from high to low (based on repeats and post meeting review). The second is a spreadsheet of goals that were repeated amongst the user groups and shows commonality.

Our next meeting is TUESDAY, May 27th from 6-8pm. This is our last scheduled meeting. Please look for another email from me as we get closer to that meeting. Also note that there have been requests for a large map to help us understand the areas we are talking about. I will work with DOCARE to create either a projected image or a large wall size map to have for next Tuesday. Thank you!

Agenda for final meeting

Here’s the agenda (PDF) for our final meeting, Tuesday, May 27: Agenda for Kanaha Focus Group Meeting #4
and the facilitator’s email introduction, below.

Attached, please find the agenda for our final Kanaha Focus Group meeting. This meeting will focus on Recommendations and Solutions to address the concerns and needs by all user groups at Kanaha Beach that have been discussed and shared during the first 3 meetings. As you can see from the agenda, Brooks and Matt will present visuals of the area and provide an overview. The goal is to create recommendations for each of the 3 swim zone areas and expand to generating recommendations that reflect Kanaha Beach Park as a whole.

Your time and participation is greatly appreciated. This is only the beginning but it is a solid foundation that you and everyone has worked hard to create in the effort to resolve the issues with Kanaha Beach Park.


Report on third working group meeting

The third working group meeting was held yesterday, May 12.

After hearing individuals speak for the needs of their own group in the second meeting, the focus of this meeting seemed to be demonstrating that we’d heard the needs of other users. Taking a single stakeholder group at a time, we were each asked to think of ourselves as a member of that group and name a need or goal that would be important to them.

The stakeholder groups addressed were:

  • Swimmers
  • Fishers
  • Windsurfers
  • Lifeguards
  • Canoe clubs
  • Kiters
  • Vegetation / Malama Maui Nui
  • Divers
  • Governor’s office
  • Surfers / SUP

Common top needs were safety and respect. Duh. I didn’t like that the facilitator and scribe didn’t use our exact words. They generalized and genericized our input, which I thought made it less precise and less meaningful. For example, the DOCARE officers had said in the second meeting that fixed points for boundaries, such as jetties, make enforcement easier. So my input for a DOCARE need was “clear physical boundaries” which got translated onto the flip chart as merely an additional check mark for “clear rules”.

One message came through quite loudly, which was that DLNR/DOBOR/DOCARE find the current administrative rules lack the clarity they need to make them enforceable and able to hold up in court.

Some good ideas were suggested that would promote harmony, good will, and joint ownership of responsibility: to give back by volunteering or making improvements (for example, with clearing invasive species or planting native ones), and to have a konohiki, or steward, who manages the resources for the good of all and to maintain them for the future.

A memorable quote of the evening was “Do the right thing – even when no one’s looking.”

We have one more meeting, on Tuesday, May 27. In two hours, 20+ people are supposed to come up with recommendations for rule changes governing ocean recreational use at Kanaha for the next 25 years.

Report on second working group meeting


Paul Sensano of the DLNR brought in samples of the kinds of buoys that are their top choices for marking swim zones, a cap buoy and a can buoy

The second working group meeting was held on Monday, April 28. We were asked to come prepared to talk about our user group’s “issues, needs, concerns, and goals”. Here’s what I had for windsurfing.

How to educate both resident and visiting users about rules


  • Ability to drift downwind near shore, for learning and self-rescue
  • Ability to walk gear upwind along shore
  • Beginner’s area sheltered from high wind and surf


  • HAR swim zone A would eliminate the protected area for beginners
  • HAR swim zone B would remove a large portion of the area used by windsurfers
  • Combined, old swim zones A & B would remove 50-70% of the area currently used by windsurfers


  • Continue to provide access to family- and beginner-friendly windsurfing areas
  • Ensure safety for all users
  • Communicate rules and guidelines for safety and respect
  • A plan that is flexible/nimble enough to accommodate short-term events such as tsunamis and flooding, and long-term changes such as new sports

We divided into two “focus groups” for discussion, where individuals had a chance to talk about their user group’s concerns and ideas. It also provided opportunities for different user groups to understand each other better.

Support seemed to be emerging for making the swim zone outer boundaries closer to shore, like they are now. Most people seemed to think the goal of the swim zones is to provide safe areas for families and children to enjoy the water. It’s easier for DLNR to enforce zones if the boundaries have natural landmarks, like jetties, easier for lifeguards to enforce, and easier for users to recognize.

Some concerns about windsurfing and kiting, voiced by other users, were

  • Native plantings being trampled or cut down
  • Kiters jumping over canoes and divers
  • Keeping a safe distance from divers and fishers
  • Water getting crowded with kiters and kite lines tangling
  • Fishers like to cast from points; windsurfers, kiters, and canoes have a hard time seeing the lines and poles

Here are PDFs of the meeting notes and participant ground rules that were sent out.
Summary of Meeting #2
Ground Rules Established for Kanaha Beach Recreational Area Focus Group
The meeting facilitator also sent these instructions for our next meeting: “At the conclusion of the last meeting, we asked that you embrace the challenge of thinking of a way to improve the beach for a different group, instead of your own groups agenda and needs. We will base our discussion on this frame of reference and continue to address concerns and needs as we start to move towards the final discussion about solutions and generating recommendations for the DOCARE Chair.”

Your comments

How can we address other users’ concerns? What ideas do you have to “improve the beach for a different group”?

(Meeting date has passed and input form has been removed)

These comments came in before the meeting, responding to the question in my last post asking what you see as “issues, needs, concerns, goals”. Thank you for taking time to comment!

Kiters need to stay at least 200 feet from canoes & divers. If their line drops across our necks, they can kill us due to the weight of the canoe and speed of the kiter.

Kiters should not be inside the reef from the lifeguard stand through Stable road papa. Kiters who are launching from Sprecks are endangering windsurfers, canoes and paddlers and making for fights.

Windsurf instructors should educate their students that they should look first to see if a canoe or diver’s path will intersect theirs and either delay their launch or change course so as not to run over/into them. Neither canoes nor divers can manover quickly to get out of the way, so it is up to the windsurfer or kiter to avoid them.

All groups should ask paddlers for help (while still calling 911) if they get into trouble because if we are out there, we may be quickest to get to you safely.

~ Karen C, paddling & fishing

If they are adding a new swim area near the lifeguard tower, why cant they remove one of the existing swim areas? Why not remove the one at the cove since its never used at all by swimmers and is really really far from any kind of life guard supervision? A swim zone infers that its being managed; that area is not being managed at all. If a swimmer were to drown in a county swim zone, the county is probably going to be liable. I doubt they are going to start posting a lifeguard at the cove. I would suggest they remove that swim zone. And keep the A (kite beach), B (canoe beach), and C (windsurf beach).

~ Marc L, Windsurfing, Surfing, Paddling, Snorkling

Lowers Kanaha has a swim line providing swimmers with a safe place to swim. The local windsurfers police the zone informing visitors about the safety measures in place. Facebook has a group site called Friends of Kanaha that promotes “Peace and Pono @ Kanaha Beach Park”. Hundreds of locals and visitors visit this site. Please accept the new proposed swim zone map

~ Margie L, windsurfing, surfing

Working group report and resources

Recap of first meeting

The first working group meeting was held on Monday, April 14. The agenda was:

Introduction, Ground Rules, Purpose and Overview of Area
Opening Statements by one Stakeholder Representative from each group
Come prepared to: (3-5 minutes maximum)
1. Introduce yourself and the group you are representing
2. How you and your group use the Kanaha recreation area
3. What does your community group want to get out of this process; what is your goal by participating?

About 20 people attended altogether. Each person had 3 minutes to introduce themself and their group. There were quite a few from DLNR departments: DOBOR writes the rules, and DOCARE enforces them. There were also representatives from Maui County government departments, the Governor’s office, and various user groups: swimmers, fishers, canoe paddlers, windsurfers, and kiters. The facilitator noted that there were no representatives from the SUP, dive, and vegetation groups.

Each participant was provided a copy of the existing language and map for HAR 13-256-130, Kanaha Beach Restricted Zones, and a Google Earth map of the park. This meeting summary (PDF) was sent out the next day.

Information shared

The facilitator sent this additional email with information and resources for the next meeting:

As discussed at the first meeting, our next two meetings will focus on gathering everyone’s issues, concerns and needs regarding the Kanaha Recreational Area. Once we understand the needs and concerns, we will move to discussing options towards creating a recommendation for the DOBOR Chair.

We also agreed to share information in between meetings:

Paul Sensano will be at Kanaha Beach on Friday, April 25th identifying the current swim zones with GPS equipment. When he confirms the time, I will forward that information.

The work that Patti Cadiz mentioned at the meeting is also attached to this email [below]. Be mindful that this information is more solution based and we are not yet at that place in the Focus Group process. We are still gathering information based on all stakeholder needs and interests.

Background on proposed amendment (PDF): Kanaha_Proposal_from_12-13
The proposed amendment, in Ramseyer format (PDF): 13-256-130Amended_Proposal
Map illustrating the proposed amendment (click to view larger):
Proposed Swim Zone Map112313

The second meeting is planned for Monday, April 28.

The agenda for the second meeting:

Participants will be working together in Focus Groups to identify Issues, needs and goals
Prior to the second meeting: Meet with your community group to help identify issues, needs, concerns and goals of your Community Group and be prepared to share during Focus Group session

Do you have issues, needs, concerns, and goals that you want to share for your activities at Kanaha? Let us know in the contact form below.

Agendas for remaining meetings

Meeting 3 Agenda (May 12)

Participants will continue working together in Focus Groups to discuss issues, needs and goals; respond to questions
Prior to third meeting: Meet with your community group to share what has been gathered so far, identify needs and concerns and gather questions from your Community Group

Meeting 4 Agenda (May 27)

Solutions and agreement writing
Be prepared to focus on generating solutions; collaboration and agreement focused in order to create a written recommendation to be presented to DOBOR Chair regarding Kanaha Recreation Area
Prior to final meeting: meet with Community Group to gather 1-3 solutions and recommendations to bring to discussion

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.