Report on County Meeting for Maui Sand Mining Permit Renewal
Rob Parsons wrote this article after the fateful Planning Commission meeting in Spring, 2007, when Jonathan Starr did his best to get his colleagues to do something/anything to stop the export of Maui’s inland sand reserves:
Over 60 years of sand exports are depleting Maui’s finite sand Stocks. Here is a picture of the “sand Barge” that departs to Oahu about twice a week (96 barges per year in 2005). Massive amounts of sand are taken from an inland quarry, and trucked in huge convoys to Kahului harbor, where is is loaded onto a massive Sand Barge and then shipped out fast. It is estimated that we are running out of sand, possibly within 5-7 years. When that happens we will have no local land based sand supply left for beach restoration projects or other needs in the future. The rate of Maui sand exports is accelerating, possibly because these people fear that their permits would be revoked when people discover the magnitude of this problem.
Mr. ROB PARSONS (Environment Coordinator, Maui County) 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.
Mr. PARSONS: In fiscal year ’04, the Harbor Master said the sand barge left Kahului for Oahu 61 times. The following year, fiscal year ’05, it left 96 times. To me, that’s a dramatic and even shocking increase.
2006 Report The Maui Inland Sand Resource Quantification Study prepared for the County of Maui Department of Public Works and Environmental Management is now posted on the County of Maui website athttp://www.mauicounty.gov under “New Additions.” “The information contained in the study verifies
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.
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 Kanahabeach.com website:
WAILUKU – Maui is running out of something most people take for granted: sand.
The vast system of inland sand dunes that stretches across Wailuku has largely been covered by development, and what’s left is being mined – about 318,000 tons of the stuff dug out and used each year, 70 percent of it shipped to Honolulu. At that rate, the last available sand on the island will be gone within five to seven years, according to a report being prepared for the county…