Maui Police have identified the man who died at the pools at Oheo Gulch Friday. Thirty-eight year-old Rajneesh Padmanabhan of San Ramon, CA, was pulled from the water by bystanders who began efforts to revive him.
Those efforts failed – as did those of Maui Police and Maui Fire and Rescue staff. The area has been mis-labeled as “The Seven Sacred Pools” since an ill-witted ad campaign failed in the mid 1900s. While portions of the area may be sacred in culture and tradition, there are actually 23 pools that flow from the summit of Haleakala that flow to Oheo, none of which has ever been historically designated as “sacred.”
In an unrelatred incident, today Maui Police tell Maui TV News that the 25 year-old man who jumped from the “back side” of Black Rock” at Ka’anapali Beach is still in critical condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center – but is alive.
A Lahaina site considered sacred – and documented as historically significant – is nearing restoration. Moku’ula, near the current 505 Front Street location, was once the capitol of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.
A public meeting next week in Lahaina will determine if that restoration is to move forward. The County of Maui and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are conducting a feasibility study for the proposed Mokuhinia Ecosystem Restoration Project (project) in the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The findings of the feasibility study have been compiled in a Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment (EA), with an anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact. Comments on the draft document are being requested as part of a public review period (August 23 –September 23, 2013); as part of this process, a public meeting will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lahaina Civic Center (1840 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761).
Summary of Proposed Action
Historically, Loko o Mokuhinia was an approximately 17‐acre pond, one in a series of coastal wetlands along the shoreline of West Maui. Loko o Mokuhinia is cited in Hawaiian mo`olelo (traditions) as the home of the mo`o akua (lizard goddess), Kihawahine, who was the tutelary deity to the Maui royal family line that gave rise to King Kamehameha III. From 1837 to 1845, the inland island of Moku`ula was the royal residence of King Kamehameha III when Lahaina served as the capital of the HawaiianKingdom. In 1845, the capital of the HawaiianKingdom was relocated to Honolulu, and Loko o Mokuhinia and Moku`ula began to decrease in prominence. In the early 20th century, a public project was implemented to fill Loko o Mokuhinia, and in 1918, Executive Order 52 established the site as Malu`ulu o LelePark, which is managed by the County of Maui. Loko o Mokuhinia and Moku`ula currently lie approximately two to six feet under the ground surface of the park.
The Mokuhinia Ecosystem Restoration Project specifically addresses the restoration of Loko o Mokuhinia, which is one component of a larger effort by the County of Maui to preserve and restore the overall site. The purpose of the project is to restore wetland functions and values within a portion of Loko o Mokuhinia, the former wetland that surrounded the ancient island of Moku`ula. Specifically, the project includes restoration of foraging habitat for the endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae`o, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni), Hawaiian coot (‘alae ke oke’o, Fulica alai), and migratory waterfowl and shorebird species. Specific components of the proposed action include: (1) excavation to intercept the existing groundwater, (2) grading to provide shallow wetland slopes and microtopographic variation, (3) installation of a groundwater well and pump to supplement groundwater levels, (4) installation of an outlet to an adjacent ditch, (5) planting native wetland vegetation, and (6) installation of a perimeter fence to provide predator control. If approved and funded, it is currently anticipated that construction of the project would be completed in 2018, following which post‐construction performance monitoring would be conducted for up to 10 years. Long‐term operations and maintenance activities would be performed within the site by the County of Maui.
Public Review of Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment
The findings of the feasibility study have been compiled in a Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment (EA), with an anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact. Consistent with the intent of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 343, input is being sought from affected federal, state and local agencies; Native Hawaiian organizations, individuals and practitioners; and other interested private organizations and parties.
The Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and EA is being published for a public review period (August 23 to September 23, 2013). Hard copies of the draft document will be available at the Lahaina Public Library (680 Wharf Street), Kahului Public Library (90 School Street), and Wailuku Public Library (251 High Street). Electronic copies will be available through the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) Environmental Bulletin (August 23rd edition) and through the project website (www.mokuhiniaproject.com). Copies of the document may also be requested by contacting Ms. Lisa Kettley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 440‐0275.
Comments on the draft document must be postmarked by September 23, 2013. Please send copies of written comments to the following parties:
County of Maui
200 South High Street
Contact: Mr. Zeke Kalua
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Honolulu District, Bldg 230
Ft. Shafter, HI 96858‐5440
Contact: Ms. Athline Clark
1132 Bishop Street, Suite 1100
Contact: Ms. Lisa Kettley
As part of the public review process, a public meeting will be held on Thursday, September 5, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the LahainaCivicCenter (1840 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, Maui, HI96761). If you require special provisions at the meeting for hearing, visual, or other disabilities, please contact Ms. Athline Clark, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, telephone (808)835‐4032; or Mr. Zeke Kalua, County of Maui, 200 South High Street, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793, telephone (808)270‐7855, at least seven days prior to the meeting.
By Brad Romine, UH Manoa
HONOLULU – Sea-level rise (SLR) has been isolated as a principal cause of coastal erosion in Hawaiʻi. Differing rates of relative SLR on the islands of Oʻahu and Maui remain as the best explanation for the difference in island-wide shoreline trends (that is, beach erosion or accretion) after examining other influences on shoreline change including waves, sediment supply and littoral processes, and anthropogenic changes.
Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources recently published a paper showing that SLR is a primary factor driving historical shoreline changes in Hawaiʻi and that historical rates of shoreline change are about two orders of magnitude greater than SLR – meaning “it’s twice as bad.”
As pointed out by authors of the work, knowing that SLR is a primary cause of shoreline change on a regional scale allows managers and other coastal zone decision-makers to target SLR impacts in their research programs and long-term planning. This study is confirmation that future SLR is a major concern for decision-makers charged with managing beaches.
“It is common knowledge among coastal scientists that sea-level rise leads to shoreline recession,” stated Dr. Brad Romine, coastal geologist with the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program. “Shorelines find an equilibrium position that is a balance between sediment availability and rising ocean levels. On an individual beach with adequate sediment availability, beach processes may not reflect the impact of SLR. With this research, we confirm the importance of SLR as a primary driver of shoreline change on a regional to island-wide basis.”
Globally averaged sea-level rose at about 2 mm per year over the past century. Previous studies indicate that the rate of rise is now approximately 3 mm per year and may accelerate over coming decades. The results of the recent publication show that SLR is an important factor in historical shoreline change in Hawaiʻi and will be increasingly important with projected SLR acceleration in this century. “Improved understanding of the influence of SLR on historical shoreline trends will aid in forecasting beach changes with increasing SLR,” said Dr. Charles Fletcher, Associate Dean and Professor of Geology and Geophysics at SOEST.
“The research being conducted by SOEST provides us with an opportunity to anticipate SLR effects on coastal areas, including Hawaiʻi’s world famous beaches, coastal communities and infrastructure. We hope this information will inform long-range planning decisions and allow for the development of SLR adaptation plans,” said Sam Lemmo, Administrator, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.
Results of island-wide historical trends indicate that Maui beaches are significantly more erosional than beaches on Oʻahu. On Maui, 78% of beaches eroded over the past century with an overall (island-wide) average shoreline change rate of 13 cm of erosion per year, while 52% of Oʻahu beaches eroded with an overall average shoreline change rate of 3 cm of erosion per year.
The variation in long-term relative SLR rates along the Hawaiʻi archipelago is due, in large part, to variations in island subsidence with distance from actively growing Hawaiʻi Island and/or variations in upper ocean water masses. The islands of Oʻahu and Maui, with significantly different rates of localized sea-level rise (SLR has been approximately 65% higher rate on Maui) over the past century, provided a natural laboratory to investigate possible relations between historical shoreline changes and SLR.
Island-wide and regional historical shoreline trends were calculated for the islands using shoreline positions measured from aerial photographs and survey charts. Shoreline positions were manually digitized using photogrammetric and geographic information system (GIS) software from aerial photo mosaics and topographic and hydrographic survey charts provided by the National Ocean Service (NOS). Shoreline movement through time was measured using GIS software. Historical shoreline data were optimized to reduce anthropogenic influences (e.g., constructing seawalls or sand mining) on shoreline change measurements. The researchers controlled for influences other than SLR to determine if SLR remains as the best explanation for observed changes. They also utilized a series of consistency checks to determine if results are significant and to eliminate other possible explanations.
A young man is in critical condition tonight at Maui Memorial Medical Canter after jumping of “Black Rock” at Ka’anapali Beach today.
At 6:28 p.m. this evening, Maui Fire Department crews – including Lahaina fire fighters – responded to Ka’anapali, Lahaina for a 25 year-old visitor who jumped off the back side of Black Rock, surfaced, but submerged again. Friends of the victim pulled him out of the water and began CPR. Fire crews upon arrival took over performing CPR until medics arrived.
American Medical Response transported the victim in critical condition to Maui Memorial Medical Center. No information provided on where the victim was from.
A California visitor died today at the pools of Oheo Gulch – the place some guide books call “The Seven Sacred Pools.”
At 5:30 this afternoon, Hana fire fighters as well as Maui Fire Department Rescue 10 with Air-1 responded to Oheo Pools in Kipahulu, Hana for a missing swimmer. Fire crews arrived to find Maui Police Department personnel performing CPR on the victim next to the shore of one of the 23 pools. The victim, described as a 38 year-old male, was pulled from the water by bystanders. Fire and Medic units took over performing CPR, but were unsuccessful in resuscitating the victim. Medics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
The male was a visitor from California. Their investigation continues.
WAILUKU – The Planning Committee will consider a bill to permit and regulate home-based businesses in certain County zoning districts, on Thursday at 9 a.m., Committee Chair Don Couch announced today.
The meeting will be held in the Council Chamber on the 8th floor of the Kalana O Maui building, 200 S. High St. in Wailuku.
“I want to encourage entrepreneurship and support residents who want to earn a living from home,” said Committee Chair Couch. “However, we need to address what constitutes a ‘nuisance’ potentially impacting community character and quality of life for neighbors.”
Committee Chair Couch said he hopes the committee can agree on allowable types of home-based businesses and appropriate regulations for particular operations.
“The bill provides that repair of automobiles and other vehicles with combustion engines shall be restricted to no more than two at any time,” said Committee Chair Couch who introduced the bill two years ago. “It also restricts hours of operation and limits customers to two at any given time.”
The Council has been waiting for the comments of the planning commissions before acting on the bill, based on a requirement of the County Charter for land use legislation.
The Maui Planning Commission recommended prohibiting automobile repairs and deleting restrictions on floor area limitations, retailing and deliveries. The Molokai and Lanai planning commissions each recommended exempting their island entirely from the legislation.
Committee Chair Couch said representatives from various departments will address concerns relating to fire protection, water usage, land use enforcement and zoning restrictions. He urges community input on the bill, which he said is “a very important matter.”
The agenda and proposed bill are available online at www.mauicounty.gov/committee/pc for review. The public may testify in the Council Chamber, at the Council District Offices in Hana, Lanai City or Kaunakakai or via e mail at email@example.com.
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