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Volunteers need permission to work dunes and beaches

Our volunteer group has worked with the county parks department for 20 years. The only way to correctly work on our beaches is to get permission from the county before doing any work.

When volunteers fail to get permission, the work they do has the potential of harming the fragile beach infrastructure and natural environment. It can become closer to vandalism than helpful assistance. No matter how well-meaning, it is simply never acceptable to do any unauthorized work in the parks, beaches or dune areas.

We have always found the county appreciative of authorized volunteer efforts, but it has to be done correctly.

If you see people working on our dunes or beaches, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have permission. The groups and individuals with permission will always be willing to share with you who they are working with and what they are doing.

It is up to all of us to ensure that our precious dunes and beach parks are protected from misguided rogue volunteers.

Volunteers that bypass the system without permission not only potentially harm the coastal dynamics, they undercut the authorized efforts of groups and individuals that proceed by county rules and regulations. The unintentional damage done can impact the environment for generations.

For those of us who live on Maui full time, the beaches are our lifeline to the ocean environment. With global warming and tidal rise issues, it is even more important to understand the rules of nature and coordinate all cleanup efforts through Maui County.

Ob and Lis Richardson

Kihei

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