County of Maui issues emergency permit to assist with incident involving private charter yacht grounded immediately outside Honolua Bay, a marine sanctuary.
In response to the increasing risk of damage to the reef and ecosystem at Honolua Bay, a marine sanctuary in West Maui, the County of Maui exercised its ability to issue an emergency Special Management Area permit that would allow equipment to access the site via the shoreline and assist in dislodging the vessel from the reef it is resting on and enable it to reach deeper water to exit the area. The emergency permit, authorized by Acting Planning Director Kathleen Ross Aoki was issued late this afternoon following discussions with West Maui Council Member Tamara Paltin and the excavation company. This action comes after attempts during an afternoon high tide failed. The State must still issue a corresponding permit for the work that also involves DLNR jurisdiction beginning at the high water mark and into the ocean. "We are pleased to be able to rapidly respond to a situation in dire need. The longer the vessel remains in the sensitive area the higher the risk of damage," said Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr. Photo credit: Kākoʻo Haleakalā