Hearing planned to cover Lahaina Harbor dredging

The Maui News

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved dredging of the Lahaina Harbor channel to clear a buildup of material that poses a danger to harbor traffic, West Maui state Rep. Angus McKelvey announced last week.

A conditional permit from the corps will allow emergency maintenance dredging to begin in May, McKelvey said. The project is expected to be completed around August. Work was ongoing to process a contract for the project.

In 2012, material buildup in the channel caused shoaling, which means the harbor became shallower and created a hazard for boats passing through. About 6,000 cubic yards of material had to be removed from both Lahaina Harbor and Mala Wharf.

“Now, to ensure safety and access, we have to dredge the channel again,” McKelvey said. “Because we are merely removing sediment that has been deposited since the last dredging was done, there will be no impact to the surrounding marine environment.”

McKelvey will host a public hearing with state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials and the project engineer to answer questions and update the community on the project’s timeline. A date and location for the hearing has not been determined.

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