Beach Access

Public spaces include access points and beaches.

  • The public has an inherent right of access to and along all beaches and shorelines. Generally, local authorities have the primary authority to develop and maintain public access to and along the shorelines.
  • Existing public coastal access opportunities must be retained, new or increased public access opportunities should be provided, and development must not be allowed to interfere with public access. Furthermore, beaches that provide access for water-oriented recreational activities should be protected for such uses.
  • The public should be afforded full and fair access to beaches, which are public trust resources, by minimizing the possibility of impediment; including development, subdivision or land use zoning change; or deterring obstacles, including gates, fences, hired security, misleading signage, rock walls, shrubbery or other blockades, being placed upon public rights of way to beach access.
  • Means of access to the beach (“vertical” or “perpendicular access”) should be readily available and secured so as to maximize access along the coast and should not be overly burdensome for the potential beachgoer to utilize.
  • There exists a cultural value of active visitation to the beach as part of traditional, historical and/or customary practices.
  • Wherever appropriate, public facilities, including parking areas, showers, bathrooms, changing areas and other amenities, should be made available in a manner that mitigates the adverse impacts, environmental, social or otherwise of public access.


Beach Management Plan for Maui

Beach Management Plan for Maui – 1997

Prepared by:

University of Hawaii Sea Grant Extension Service
and  County of Maui Planning Department
In Hawai’i and the Pacific, taking care of the islands’ coastal resources is critical to people’s livelihoods, lifestyles, and general well-being. More effective resource management will ensure sustainable use of these resources while providing long term benefits to Hawai’i residents, as well as ensuring a quality visitor experience. Ninety percent of Hawai’i’s plants and animals, more than10,000 species, exist nowhere else on Earth. The only tropical rainforests in the U.S. are found in Hawai’i, as well as 84 percent of all coral reefs under U.S. jurisdiction. There is no private ownership of coastal resources. Hawai’i’s beaches, its nearshore reefs, the ocean, and all that impact them from land, are at the heart of its appeal and an annual economy that accounts for more than $10 billion in
tourism revenues. Hawai’i is also steeped in an ancient cultural heritage that reflects a life-affirming relationship with the islands’ landscape, native species and ecological processes. At the same time, attempts to protect delicate ecosystems are balanced with increasingly overpopulated coastlines and unharnessed business development.


Researchers to probe beach restoration options in Kahana –

Researchers to probe beach restoration options in Kahana – | News, Information, Lahaina and Western Maui, Hawaii — Lahaina News

KAHANA — Funding has been released by the county for a study on a much-needed facelift at Kahana Beach.


‘Beach-quality sand’ discovered as erosion reaches ‘crisis’ level | Maui News

‘Beach-quality sand’ discovered as erosion reaches ‘crisis’ level | News, Sports, Jobs – Maui News

Jun 5, 2016

KAHANA BAY – Maui County shoreline planners are “elated” after discovering more than 300,000 cubic yards of “beach-quality sand” off Kahana Bay, which could replenish the beachfronts of numerous condominiums that have been slowly disappearing into the ocean.

However, the discovery may be too little, too late.


Construction Boom Threatens Maui’s Pristine Sand

Construction Boom Threatens Maui’s Pristine Sand

Maui’s pristine beaches and vast inland sand dune system are threatened as a booming construction industry digs out tons of sand to mix for concrete. Jesse Hardman reports on the the fight on the popular Hawaiian island over the precious resource.

Mr. ROB PARSONS (Environment Coordinator, Maui County): We can see the magnificent 30 foot to 40 foot tall dunes of pure, golden sand. We’re also in the face of the breeze of the trade winds that brought the sand here tens of thousands of years ago.

Rob Parsons says more than 2 million tons of inland sand is excavated every year, and the majority of it isn’t even used locally, but gets shipped off to Honolulu.


Sand Mining on Maui’s north shore Beaches

Beach Sand Mining on Maui’s north shore

The main reason we have beach loss today is the fact that too much sand was taken off the beaches for commercial use. Beach Sand was used in the construction industry, but mostly for sugar cane production, and agriculture. Sand was removed from the beaches and nearshore systems for decades. Beach Sand was used as aggregate for construction, and also turned into lime. Lime is used to make concrete, used as a fertilizer, and is used an additive in the sugar cane production process. The coral sand was burned in a rotary kiln to produce lime.

Read the full article on the website:

Beach Sand Mining on Maui’s north shore