KIHEI - Volunteers from the Maui Canoe Club and the Kihei Community Association installed 200 feet of sand fencing as part of a South Maui dune restoration project.
The work was done at the mouth of the Kaonoulu River bed, just north of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary offices on South Kihei Road.
Volunteers installed the sand fencing, which was donated by a Kihei resident, on two workdays earlier this month. The association is covering $850 in additional costs for materials.
Volunteers installed sand fencing at the mouth of the Kaonoulu River in Kihei. The fencing will keep sand from blowing onto South Kihei Road and help it accumulate to rebuild a sand dune that was blown out in a 2007 storm. The work was done earlier this month.
The fencing will keep the sand from blowing onto the road and help it accumulate to rebuild a dune that was blown out in a 2007 storm, said association member Bob Richardson. It will also keep people from damaging the dune while grass is being restored.
"In nature you don't need sand fencing because you don't have hundreds of people walking across the dune area regularly," Richardson said.
The fences don't block access to the beach itself, he added.
The association worked with University of Hawaii Sea Grant Extension agent Zoe Norcross-Nuu, a dune specialist, for advice on the project, and to help coordinate permitting from the state and county.
Once sand accumulates on the dune, the next step in the restoration effort will be to encourage the growth of native plants to help hold the sand in place, Richardson said. Beach morning glory, or pohuehue, akiaki grass and akuliluli all thrive in a dune environment, and at full maturity, the plants' roots extend to the base of the dune, so that they can survive even when the dune is eroded.
In a separate project in the same area, the group Keiki O Ka 'Aina Eco Village Ohana has been conducting a years-long effort to preserve wetlands and sand dunes and restore native plants.