Letter for Oct. 31, 2016

No need for Grove Farm to close access to Mahaulepu Beach

As active users of Mahaulepu Beach, we are very concerned about the pollution of the Waiopili Stream and the danger it poses to the ocean habitat. We strongly support the testing of the stream currently being conducted by the State Department of Health. Mahaulepu is a rare undeveloped gem in need of conservation protection. It is also an area both historically and currently enjoyed by locals and visitors for recreation, fishing, gathering, cultural practices, archaeological and other endeavors.

Access to Mahaulepu Beach has been curtailed by Grove Farm. Grove Farm’s website represents that “At the direction of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, Grove Farm’s affiliate, Mahaulepu Farm LLC, will be closing its access gates leading to Mahaulepu Beach as the Department of Health conducts additional water testing.” It is our understanding that public access has been suspended by Grove Farm since Sept. 26, apparently at your direction, for a period of two months.

We have spoken to independent scientists who regularly test water and we believe are currently testing Waiopili Stream. They can see no reason to prevent public access to an entire public beach area while testing of the stream is in progress. This is particularly the case when most of the testing will be upstream rather than at the mouth of the stream where it empties into the ocean.

Given what we learned from the scientists, we question whether the closure is in fact necessary or justified as Grove Farm states to “preserve the quality of the testing and to ensure that the tests are not compromised.”

This letter is intended to be a protest to termination of access to the area. We have sent a similar letter to the Clean Water Branch of the Department of Health.

Ira and Rayme Meyer

Koloa

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