Important to protect and preserve our dunes

Beaches are often top on the list of things about Maui that people love. For many, it is just that raw power of nature with wind, wave and sand. Protecting what we love is also hard-wired into our brains. 

Protecting our beaches often means preserving the dune areas. Sand dunes and beaches are part of the same system. When one of those components is damaged, often the whole area suffers. 

One main protective feature of dunes is the walking trails that bridge land to shoreline. These trails help limit surface damage to the general dune area.

When a trail is misaligned, the result is often a sand blow-out where valuable sand is lost from the dune system. With properly aligned trails, sand is added to the trail slowly over time by nature. The geologists at  UH Sea Grant and the community volunteers that work with them design beach trails to assist nature.

Have you ever wondered why some beaches seem to have no dunes and no trails and almost no native plants, just an expanse of blowing sand? Often, that is because no beach trails were formed so people just walk everywhere. Over time, the dunes disappear and the plants stop growing. Those beaches can have dunes and native plants again with a bit of tender loving care from a knowledgeable public.

If local beaches and beach parks are some of the things you love about Maui, then please continue to support the projects that protect them. 

Bob and Lis Richardson



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