Maui spent $9.5M on land to protect famed big wave spot Jaws

The famed big wave break of Jaws won a major victory late last week. Maui County has bought 267 acres of land for $9.5 million through the Open Space, Natural Resources and Scenic Views Preservation Fund. Saving the land on the cliffs from future development, they plan to keep it mostly as is to create the area’s first Organic Agricultural Park with gardens and public walking trails.

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

According to Hawaii News Now, the preservation deal started as a community request and eventually caught the attention of council members.

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One of the four plots of land includes the access easement to the lookout for Jaws. As big wave legend and Maui resident Dave Parmenter told Hawaii News Now:

“There’s so much raw power being released when that wave breaks. You’re overwhelmed, you’re intimated, and you’re humbled, kind of all at the same time. And you're looking at land, you’re not looking at development, you’re not looking at buildings, you’re looking at trees, you’re using cliffs to give you reference to where you are in the water, and that’s a pretty special thing now days.”

Andrea Moller experiencing the raw power of Jaws. Photo: Courtesy of Erik Aeder/World Surf League

Andrea Moller experiencing the raw power of Jaws. Photo: Courtesy of Erik Aeder/World Surf League

This isn’t the first time the government has purchased land on Maui to preserve a break. Back in 2013 the state of Hawaii purchased the land above Honolua Bay to keep it from becoming a golf course.

Maui County councilman Don Guzman told Hawaii News Now, “We really have a shrinkage of coastline that we need to protect and right now what we see is a lot of privatization, a lot of development. And if we can save this portion of the north shore, I think it will be something we can leave behind as a legacy for future generations to appreciate.”

Ian Walsh will continue to be able to do this. Photo: Nick Ricca/World Surf League

Ian Walsh will continue to be able to do this. Photo: Nick Ricca/World Surf League

Now, future generations of big wave surfers can continue to enjoy one of the best big wave spots on the planet without worry of one day possibly losing it to land development.

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