By David Kvasnicka
Kayak and snorkeling company Maui Ocean Activities has been ordered to cease unauthorized beach activities by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
The company was found to be engaging in “unauthorized commercial activities conducted on state unencumbered lands at Wailea Beach” by Department of Land and Natural Resources staff.
DLNR staff were in the area after receiving ongoing complaints of beach use violations, including the “pre-setting of beach chairs” and commercial activities.
They discovered Maui Ocean Activities to have kayaks set up and left unattended on the beach for at least 20 minutes, and later conducting kayak instruction on the beach involving 13 people, plus the instructor, for another 10 minutes.
A sales associate at the company’s concession stand on the privately-owned Grand Wailea property confirmed to DLNR staff that the group was connected with Maui Ocean Activities.
The DLNR recommended to the board that the company be fined $1,000 plus $420 in administrative costs, to be paid within 30 days of notice, and then fined $1000 per day that commercial activities continue.
The board later waived the initial fine during its July 26 session on the condition that Maui Ocean Activities agree to immediately cease the practice, with the understanding that “if the operator commits a violation in the future, such violation would be considered a second violation warranting a higher fine under HRS 171-6(15).”
The board retained the DLNR’s recommendation of a daily $1,000 fine for each day the violations continue, according to DLNR spokesperson Laura Stevens.
The DLNR also remarked in the complaint against Maui Ocean Activities that the “Maui District Land Office had received numerous complaints from the public regarding overcrowding of shoreline areas due to vendors… awaiting the arrival of clients or during instruction.
“The public has for generations utilized specific areas for family outings and recreational activities and is now being forced out of these areas because of the impacts brought about by the presence of unauthorized commercial operators.”