MAKENA — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is closing the nearshore waters of Makena State Park today, as of 12 noon, due to a report of a large shark exhibiting aggressive behavior which chased two spear fishermen out of the water. The area closed is from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing, a mile in either direction from the location of the report.
The initial report made by the divers to lifeguards at the beach park was that an 8 to 10-foot Galapagos shark made several passes at them while they were spearfishing close to shore off Black Sand beach at Makena. They tried to fend it off with their spears but the shark kept coming, so they let it take their catch of speared fish and headed back to shore at Little Beach.
“We are closing the beach because of the reported aggressive behavior of the shark that was made to lifeguards,” said Randy Awo, DOCARE Chief. “This is occurring in the same vicinity of Monday’s fatal shark bite incident.”
“Beachgoers, swimmers, fishers/divers are advised to comply with this closure in the interest of public safety. The state recommends that spear fishermen with speared fish on a line should be extra cautious,” Awo said.
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers are responding to investigate, and will work with Maui County Ocean Safety lifeguards to post shark sighted warning signs and notify the public to keep out of the water.
Waters will be closed today until sunset, and at the end of day DLNR officials will make an assessment and determine whether to maintain the closure from sunrise tomorrow until noon, per the state shark response protocol.
PAIA – Maui County Parks workers closed Baldwin Park in Paia today because high surf flooded the area again overnight. Waves as high as 35 feet on the outer reef created a surge that overwhelmed the dunes at Baldwin Beach Park. See the latest Surf Warning here.
This means the park gates will remain locked and workers will reevaluate whether the park can be opened tomorrow.
PAIA – High surf overnight has flooded the lower lying areas of Baldwin Park in Paia, including the gravel parking lot, pavilion parking lot and the park pavilion itself. Because of the flooding all of these areas are closed to the public for the rest of today.
The Department of Parks and Recreation will reevaluate the area tomorrow before making a decision to reopen the area.
For details on the High Surf Warning for Maui and Moloka’i, click here.
WAILUKU – The Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) announced the Kalama Skate Park will be closed for emergency repair work from November 5 -22, 2013. Repairs will be made to the vertical ramps, safety railings and support structure; some portions of the skate park will also be painted to cover graffiti. Questions on the skate park repairs may be directed to the South Parks Office at 879-4364.
Also, the DPR Aquatics Division announced a two-day closure of Kokua Pool in Kahului on November 19 and 20 to chemically treat, scrub and re-balance pool water. The pool will reopen for regular hours, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, November 21. Questions regarding the pool closure may be directed to Duke Sevilla at 270-6135.
The department thanks the public for their patience during these repairs to address safety concerns and maintenance issues. For additional Parks information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/parks.
By Pauline Angelakis, NPS
HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK – Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Haleakalā National Park. All visitor facilities in the park’s Summit and Kīpahulu Districts, including buildings, overlooks, trails, campgrounds, cabins, streams, pools, parking lots, and roads, are closed to park visitors. The park will remain closed until the government reopens. Visitors should call 808-572-4400 for the latest updates.
Park officials said that visitors currently staying in overnight campgrounds and cabins will be given until noon Hawaii Time on Thursday, October 3, to leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including talks, hikes, school programs, volunteer projects, and the park’s involvement in the Maui County Fair and parade.
Haleakalā National Park hosts an average of 2000-3000 visitors each day in October. It is estimated that the park will lose approximately $6800 of entrance fees for each day of the shutdown. These fees are used to maintain the park’s visitor facilities and provide visitor services. More than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the entire National Park System. Nationwide, the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in revenue.
Gateway communities across the United States see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Per 2008 figures, visitors spent over $78 million dollars a year in Maui County in association with park visits. In 2008, commercial service provider wages, plus National Park Service payroll, supported 1660 jobs and $55 million in economic activity in Maui County.
In Haleakalā National Park, approximately 15 NPS employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services. Over 70 NPS employees are on furlough because of the shutdown.
Over 29 businesses with commercial use permits and numerous non-profit cooperating association employees are not able to conduct business in the park during the park closure.
Nationwide, the shutdown has resulted in furloughs for more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees nationwide are being affected.
Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov hosts more than 750,000 pages and 91 million visitors each year.
For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.
WAILUKU – The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation – Aquatics Division announces the following pool closures during the month of October.
Lifeguard Renewal Certification:
The public is encouraged to call the Pool Info. Line at 270-8202 for recorded pool hours and closures. The recording is updated by 9:00 a.m. each day.
For more information, contact Duke Sevilla at 270-6135 or visit www.mauicounty.gov/aquatics.
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