Sand mining moratorium needs to be extended

The county’s Temporary Moratorium on Sand Mining of Central Maui Inland Sand is set to expire soon. The moratorium’s purpose is to “establish regulations for mining inland sand to protect Maui’s environment and limited natural resources and prevent the disturbance of Hawaiian historical, cultural, or archaeological sites, and unmarked human burial site” — but no new regulations have been passed in the six months since the moratorium went into effect.

After the passage of the moratorium, the community breathed a sigh of relief, knowing the iwi kupuna in these dunes are safe, for now. If the moratorium is lifted, the sand mining will start up again. The in-land sand dunes should be protected forever because of their historical significance. The Maui Community Plan calls for the protection of cultural resources; the council could use this community document to justify the extension of the moratorium indefinitely.

At the very least, this moratorium should remain in place until new regulations are passed that adequately protect the iwi kupuna buried in the Puuone sand dunes of Central Maui.

Adriane Raff Corwin