Polihale Beach

Partial Closure of Polihale State Park Begins June 17th

June 17, 2024
A section of Polihale Beach known as Queen’s Pond will be closed Mondays through Fridays beginning June 17th, 2024 as crews work on a dunes restoration project.

On Monday, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) initiated a significant project aimed at protecting and restoring the delicate dune system at Polihale State Park. This effort marks a crucial step in preserving the unique coastal ecosystem and the cultural heritage it embodies.

The project centers around Po’oahonu, commonly known as Queen’s Pond, which will be closed to the public from Monday to Friday during the restoration period. Visitors will still be able to access the area on weekends, allowing for a balance between conservation efforts and public enjoyment.

“There is a compelling and critical need to protect this rare dune and coastal ecosystem,” stated Alan Carpenter, assistant administrator of the DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP). “To facilitate the hauling and placement of boulders fronting the dunes, the existing entry road will also be improved. The boulders are intended to protect the dunes and surrounding natural and cultural resources. This action is being undertaken to prevent vehicles from driving on highly sensitive cultural sites (including traditional Hawaiian burial grounds) and damaging native and endangered plants.”

In addition to physical barriers, educational signs will be installed to inform park visitors about the cultural and ecological significance of the dunes. These signs will provide guidelines on the park’s rules and other interpretive information, fostering a greater understanding and respect for the protected area.

Polihale’s dune system is a rare and fragile environment that plays a vital role in the coastal ecosystem. The dunes act as a natural barrier against ocean surges and provide habitat for various plant and animal species. However, their integrity has been increasingly threatened by human activities, particularly the driving of vehicles across these sensitive landscapes.

The restoration project is a collaborative effort aimed at reversing the damage and ensuring the long-term preservation of Polihale’s natural and cultural treasures. By restricting access during weekdays and improving infrastructure, the DLNR hopes to minimize human impact and allow the dunes to recover and thrive.