Maui News

MAUI INCLUDED IN $240 MILLION “RECREATIONAL RENAISSANCE” PLAN

January 29, 2009, 2:35 PM HST
* Updated February 2, 11:06 AM
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By Wendy OSHER © 2009

Photo of Lahaina Lighthouse by Wendy Osher

Graphic image of Recreational Renaissance courtesy: Hawaii DLNR

A list of 39 Maui County projects including long awaited repairs of the small boat ramp at Maliko Gulch, are included in a $240 million Recreational Renaissance Plan unveiled by the state today. The Maui portion of the plan totals $40.9 million and includes $35.6 million for 32 projects on the Valley Isle, $770,000 for 1 project on Lanai, and $4.49 million for 6 projects on Molokai.

Maui’s Waianapanapa State Park is included on the list of major initiatives included in a $240 million Recreational Renaissance plan unveiled by the state today. DLNR Chairperson Laura Thielen said the projects come at a key time for Hawaii. Improvements at East Maui’s Waianapanapa State Park include the expansion and enhancement of recreational opportunities, specifically the replacement of 12 existing cabins and the relocation of the campgrounds with a new comfort station.

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Park and trail improvements slated for Maui County include earmarks for Pua`a Ka`a State Wayside; Wai`anapanapa State Park; Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area; Makena State Park; `Iao Valley State Monument; Halekii-Pihana Heiau State Monument; Palaau State Park; Ho’olehua Wetlands; and Wahikuli Off Highway Vehicle Trail. Ocean Recreation Improvement for Maui under the Recreational Renaissance initiative include projects at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor; Ma`alaea Small Boat Harbor; Kahului Small Boat Harbor; Kihei Small Boat Harbor; Mala Small Boat Ramp; Maliko Boat Ramp; Manele Small Boat Harbor; Kaunakakai Small Boat Harbor; and Kahului Boat Ramp.

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One of the signature initiatives is the creation of a new Ocean Recreation Park at Sand Island. The project includes the construction of a 500 slip marina with a floating breakwater that will allow ocean events to take place without damage to boats moored in the area. Plans also call for a boat ramp, club pavilion, canoe sheds, a kayak launch area, camping and day picnic areas, walking and bike trails, a fishing pier and boat storage areas.

A concept that was presented today is a Sting of State Parks in the West Hawaii area of the Big Island by linking three existing state parks with the establishment a network of trails. The 20 mile stretch of park includes 12 miles of already established coastal parks at Hapuna, Kiholo and Kekaha Kai. Although the parks are separated by private lands, the state hopes to link the parks into a string by establish a network of trails and designated ocean landings. DLNR officials say the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail will offer a long-distance hiking experience connecting wilderness camping areas, shelters and interpretive signs.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources created a website with detailed information of each project, challenges, strategies and goals for the initiative. The website can be accessed at: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/recreate.

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