Little Beach was reopened on Saturday March 13 2021 and that weekend an extremely joyful time was had by all (except for the 3 folks who got nudity citations) – and the joyful time continues. We have great appreciation for the natural beauty and serenity of Little Beach but not so much for those who barred us access for over 9 weeks.
Some things have changed. Saturday and Sunday closing is reduced to 4 PM from 7:45 PM which prevents enjoyment of sunsets year-round. The DLNR’s excuse was to prevent a traditional Sunday evening party that could result in overcrowding and disregard for COVID-19 Emergency Rules by some participants. On this basis, early closing should have only lasted as long as the Emergency Rules which for outdoors have long been relaxed and are now repealed. The Drum Circle, the spiritual folk and party folk have spent 3 hours at Little Beach every Sunday for decades and, contrary to some DLNR assertions, Little Beach is as unharmed and beautiful as ever.
Monday-Friday closing is reduced from 7:45 PM to 7 PM, just to make life easier for the DLNR - absolutely unrelated to COVID-19 Emergency Rules. In the Summer the sunset lasts about 30 minutes after sundown, to about 7:33 PM. That’s why the previous closing was set by the DLNR to 7:45 PM by which time most folks had left voluntarily. Total darkness does not occur until 8:30 PM.
The DLNR is driving out-of-state visitors away by raising already illegal park fees: $10 parking + $5/person access fee. It is illegal for a State to discriminate against residents of another state under law - 14th Amendment, Section 1. The paths via both parking lots are registered Shoreline Access Corridors for which obstructing access by action, e.g. a $5 fee, is illegal under HRS §115-9. The original blue Shoreline Access Corridor identification signs have been removed by the DLNR. This is a natural beach with no facilities and forever until 2020 the beach was FREE, like all other Maui beaches. The DLNR feels no aloha! It has no concern for local businesses and the Maui economy that are dependent on attracting visitors!
The first thing beachgoers notice is the gate – effective but lacking charm. When closed, it obstructs a registered lateral shoreline access corridor, illegal under HRS §115-9. The DLNR’s own rule, HAR §13-146-4, only permits closure of an area “when necessary for the protection of the area or the safety and welfare of persons or property.” The 9-week closure was illegal, and now that Covid Emergency rules have been repealed, the current Saturday and Sunday 4pm closures are illegal.
The second thing beachgoers notice is the new red/black/white signs with 5 no-nos listed and “No Nudity” topping the list. In 2019 Little Beach received its first green colored rules sign duplicating the main gate rules sign in which nudity is listed. Now it has both. The obvious question is why are these red/black/white signs dotted around Little Beach and not Big Beach where the same rules apply? In what world does the DLNR live - do they not know that everyone on Maui knows the NUDE BEACH means LITTLE BEACH means Puʻu Ōlaʻi BEACH. Do they not know that for many years the Hawaii State Parks website has advertised nudity as a feature of Little Beach, stating: “Puʻu Olai Beach is one of the few Hawaiian beaches where local police tolerate nude sunbathing” and it was true. Not our website says the DLNR, but since it has links from and to the DLNR website, they have no plausible deniability.
In its re-opening announcement, as if to justify turning on naturists, the DLNR stated “A recent Cultural Impact Assessment for Mākena State Park recognized Puʻu Ōlaʻi, its surrounding slopes and beach as significant cultural resources.” Cultural resources on the Beach – really! Twisting the facts. Cultural resources were already well known and reported in a 412-page study in 2007 and the DLNR did nothing to protect them. The study estimated that, pre-contact, as many as 10,000 Hawaiians lived in this part of Makena. It will warm your hearts to know that we continue the tradition of pre-contact Hawaiians on Little Beach who were also naturists, bathing and surfing nude. We think the “No Nudity” signs are an imposition of haole artifacts and an affront to pre-contact Hawaiian culture, and that they should be removed. Guess what. Pre-contact Hawaiians did not play ukulele, but they did play drums, have parties and dance.
Extreme Joy – as it used to be before the DLNR banned Weekend and Summer sunsets…
Mobile: Use Landscape