The entrance to the popular Waihee Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge from Halewaiu Rd has been closed for some time now. Heavy rains in the fall did some serious damage to the road creating a deep gouge where the road once was. Unfortunately, this isn’t a new occurrence, as the nature of the area has caused the road to wash out a number of times in the past. Since Waihee is in a shoreline management area, special permitting (called SMA Permits) are required for us to do the repair work. While gathering the necessary data for the permit we found that the flood zoning had changed since we last applied for a permit forcing a delay in submitting the necessary permit information till March of this year.
Thorne Abbott of Coastal Planners, LLC has been diligently helping us with the permit process, Goodfellow Brothers, Inc. has graciously offered to assist with the repair work and several individuals have made very generous donations to buy the materials needed to repair the road.
As Waihee is a popular recreation area for the Maui community, we receive requests from schools, community groups, educational programs, and youth programs and others for guided hikes on the property regularly. Maui families also camp there on a weekly basis. However, because of our inability to provide emergency access in and out of the Refuge, these programs have been limited.
The permit application is now being reviewed by the county and we are working to receive final approval. We hope to repair and reopen the road in time for our Annual Waihee Hoolaulea, scheduled for Saturday, September 8th.
In the meantime, we are asking visitors to Waihee to park at the Waiehu Golf Course – who have generously offered parking there – and use caution when crossing the road. The walk in from the road is about ¼ of a mile. We appreciate everyone’s patience and look forward to seeing everyone out on the land again soon!