The State Department of Transportation has scrapped a plan to construct a seawall in West Maui following a week long protest. The plan was to build a wall of boulders near mile marker 16 along the shoreline of Honoapi‘ilani highway to protect the road from erosion. But environmentalists say the wall would threaten coral reefs and surf breaks by altering the natural flow of sand. They added that it would ruin beach access, and not truly alleviate the road’s safety issues.
Advocates had asked for break in construction to allow parties to explore other options including moving the road further inland. After meeting with community and environmental leaders, DOT officials agreed to a compromise… restriping the highway and moving lanes further inland. The plans for a stone seawall near Olowalu were scrapped.
Tiare Lawrence represents Mālama Olowalu. She and other protestors had been holding a round-the-clock vigil for the last week to raise awareness about the construction.