We were exploring Oahu when we stumbled upon Waimanalo. I looked up the local beach and we were ecstatic to find the most perfect beach.
Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, or Waimanalo Bay Beach Recreation Area (same place, different names), had a wonderfully sandy beach with no rocks in sight. The water was the prettiest blue-turquoise. The surf had great waves for swimming close to shore and riding. There was also no crowds and shade in the beautiful coastal forest locally known as Sherwood Forest.
This was everything you imagine the perfect beach to be.
I could have spent my entire trip here. It was my perfect beach—the Hawaiian beach vacation I dreamed about (minus a cabana and blended drinks). This beach was special. The forest was special.
When we entered, we saw protest signs. The local government wants to destroy the beautiful coastal forest despite its cultural significance and the environmental impact to build a sports complex, fields, parking spots, etc. It is unconscionable. Who would or could destroy this forest all in the name of tourism?
The community has been protesting since April when the local government suddenly and quietly began bulldozing the forest. It is an ongoing legal and community battle to stop the destruction.
The government has already disturbed Native Hawaiian burial sites (iwi kūpuna), destroyed artifacts, and destroyed nesting grounds of the endangered hoary bat—all without an Environmental Impact Statement and community awareness or input and against the National Register of Historic Places and possibly the Endangered Species Act.
If you want to learn more about it, visit savesherwoodforest.org.
Beaches and natural places such as this should be protected. Not only for their beauty and cultural significance but also for their ecological impact. If we continue to destroy nature, then we doom ourselves. These trees are part of an entire system. If they are destroyed, then every system and being that depends on them is destroyed, too. You cannot just take away one thing in nature and expect the entire system not to be impacted.
Thank you for your wonderfulness Waimanalo Bay.