The Department of Land and Natural Resources has withdrawn plans to extend the breakwater in Ma’alaea Harbor, citing costs and community and enviromental concerns as the reason for the termination.
The Surfrider Foundation is hailing the decision since it maintained the project threatened a well-known surf spot. Many know it as "Freight Trains," a sweet and forever tube ride of which Maui surfers are fiercely protective of.
"It only breaks at certain swells and at certain times of the year but it breaks big and fast. And it is very famous, and it is one of the most hollow waves on Maui. And we really wanted to protect it,” Coleman said.
The struggle to keep the popular surf break has actually been one of the Surfrider Foundation’s most protracted fights.
The Maui chapter even went so far as to hire a firm to conduct its own environmental studies.
"It would have caused damage to the near shore waters and the corals there," Coleman said.
For decades, the state had considered extending the breakwater as a way to deal with the surge that sometimes affects the mooring for some of the boats in the Maui harbor.
On Friday, Ed Underwood, the head of the state’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, cited costs and community concerns as a reason for the pullback of its plans.
"To shift the alignment of the breakwater and to shift the alignment of the channel, and with what we have been going through with in-water work now, it is just not feasible," said Underwood.
Underwood said the state has a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the aging harbor already under way.
"Right now we have $16 million into it, and that includes fixing all the marginal piers. It has also created a new ferry landing area. So, the harbor is getting a lot of improvements now," Underwood said.