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Kanaha closed to remove illegal encampments

Maui County employees work to clear areas of vegetation Wednesday morning at Kanaha Beach Park and off of Amala Place in Kahului. The park, which closed Tuesday, will reopen at 4 p.m. today. County of Maui / RYAN PIROS photo

The Maui News

Maui County departments and Maui police removed illegal encampments at Kanaha Beach Park, which was closed from Tuesday to this afternoon.

The encampments were creating public health and safety concerns at the county park near Kahului Airport and negatively impacting the beach, nearshore waters and wetlands, county spokesman Brian Perry said in a news release.

The removal of the encampments was a joint effort of the county departments of Parks and Recreation, Environmental Management, Public Works and Housing and Human Concerns and the Police Department.

Various state agencies also are working in coordination with the county to help the homeless people. Social workers with Family Life Center have conducted outreach to individuals, who had been at the encampments, offering housing options and making other services available.

“I want to thank everyone for their work in this compassionate approach to these encampments in the Kanaha Beach Park area,” said Mayor Michael Victorino. “We need to make sure our beach park areas are clean and safe for everyone. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding for the need to close Kanaha park during this time.”

As part of the closure, the Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting park maintenance and repairs, removing debris and conducting deep cleaning of restrooms, grills and showers.

The county announced the closure of Kanaha from Tuesday to 4 p.m. today on Tuesday afternoon. A portion of Amala Place and the Northshore Greenway bike path also was closed.

The initial news release did not mention the removal of the encampments, only the park cleaning.

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