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Woman reported for throwing rocks into Maunakea's Lake Waiau

lake waiau maunakea
Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources
Lake Waiau is located at the 13,000-foot-level of Maunakea.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources urges visitors to not throw rocks into Lake Waiau on Maunakea.

Both Lake Waiau and rocks are culturally significant to Hawaiian mythology. Rocks can be a form of a deity — the best practice is to leave them alone.

A woman was reported to authorities for posting photos on social media of herself throwing large rocks into the lake.

Signs around the lake identify Lake Waiau as a sacred site.

The photos have now been deleted.

Jordan Lee-Loy, a specialist with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife Natural Area Reserve, says this is upsetting for ecological and cultural reasons.

"Though she may not have meant any ill will, whenever you visit anyplace and are unfamiliar with the cultural practices, the best idea is to understand the connection to the people and how you can respectfully visit a place without causing a disturbance or disrespectful action," states Lee-Loy.

He also advises visitors who bring offerings to Lake Waiau to be mindful of what they bring. Food can attract invasive species such as ants, and non-native plants can disturb the local wildlife.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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