Sand Mining



January 2020


Central Maui Sand Dunes

Businesses are trying to get resource extraction without a permit again.   The Department of Public Works Director Rowena Dagdag-Andaya is against it, but the Planning Department is in charge of zoning.  The Sierra Club wants them to cancel the ministerial extraction permits.   Maui Tomorrow has offered to partner with Sierra Club and we are poised to litigate if necessary.

October 2017

County Moratorium Updates

The moratorium (officially IEM item 33) was once again on the agenda for the Oct. 2nd meeting. At that meeting, Elle Cochran again introduced the moratorium and Alika Atay made a motion to vote on it. No one seconded the motion, and instead the item was once again deferred.

Soon after, Don Guzman’s office announced that he’d be introducing 2 new bills at the council meeting on Friday, October 6th. These items would address some of the zoning issues but would not introduce a moratorium and would not lead to any update of the 2006 Maui sand study that we desperately need.

The IEM Committee will be discussing the moratorium again at its meeting on October 30th at 1:30 pm.


September 2017

Lawsuit Updates

Judge Cardoza ruled in favor of the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction with regards to the 1st count of the lawsuit. As part of the injunction, he ordered that if Maui Lani Partners wants to work in their Phase 9 site, ML Partners need to inform plaintiffs 48 hours in advance and allow a representative from the plaintiffs to observe all work being done there. Mining at the Phase 9 site is already stopped because of the county order issued in spring 2017, so this court ruling provides extra protection.

County Moratorium Updates

On Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 1:30 PM the County Council’s Infrastructure & Environmental Management (IEM) Committee was scheduled to meet once again to discuss and possibly vote to pass a sand mining moratorium bill out of committee. But on the morning of Sept. 18th, IEM members Mike White, Yuki Lei Sugimura, and Riki Hokama announced they would not make the meeting, and so there was no quorum. The meeting went ahead with a GPS presentation demonstrating the exact areas where the moratorium would cover. Because there was no quorum, a vote on the moratorium was deferred.

June – August 2017

County Moratorium Updates

Sierra Club Maui’s op-ed against sand mining was published by the Maui News in August:

You can see the agendas and documents for the previous IEM meetings on this issue, including the different drafts of the bill, at  (Make sure you search in Infrastructure and Environmental Management committee)

Basic Talking Points In Support of the Moratorium

  • Protect the Culture and Environment: Mauiʻs sand is NOT a “land resource,” which is something to be bought and sold and is governed under zoning laws. Sand, especially the inland Maui sand dunes, is a environmental and cultural resource that needs special protection. The Maui Inland Sand dunes are well-known to be the final resting place of many ʻIwi Kūpuna and must be respected
  • Follow the $$$: Big business interests want Council to look the other way because their businesses profit greatly off the mining and selling of Maui sand. For example, Maui Lani Partners has made millions from selling this sand. These business interests are doing everything they can to make sure sand is not considered an environmental resource because that would hurt their profits. Please put the communityʻs interests over those of big businesses.
  • If Council Doesnʻt Do This…: Through comments given at previous IEM meetings on this issue, its clear that State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) officials donʻt have the ability to properly enforce their own rules and the County departments issuing these permits have ignored lies on permit applications and not enforced their own rules. If Council doesnʻt pass this moratorium, ʻIwi Kūpuna will continue to be desecrated and Maui will lose all its inland sand.
  • Hold the Guilty Accountable: Council should hold accountable all those involved in the illegal activity that led to the resource extraction and desecration of ʻIwi Kūpuna. In addition to passing this moratorium, thereʻs a long paper trail of guilt and incompetence that must be examined.

Sand Mining in the News

KHON2 Exposes – 2017

Maui News