“1,238 acres of Hawaiian beauty”
Established in 1973, ʻĀhihi-Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve includes a coastal lava field and surrounding waters on the southwest coast of the island of Maui, Hawaii. It consists of 1,238 acres (501 ha) on land and 807 acres (327 ha) of ocean along 3 miles (4.8 km) of Maui's southwestern coastline. The reserve includes several popular snorkeling/diving sites and many cultural and geologic sites as well as habitat for numerous rare and endangered species. During World War II, the U.S. Military conducted maneuvers in south Maui, fortifying coastal areas with bunkers. Amphibious landings were made at Mākena. Some of the structures are visible at Oneloa Beach in Mākena State Park, and a concrete ramp from the era at Keoneʻōʻio. In 1945-1946, Cape Kīnaʻu was used for bombing target practice by the Navy. Unexploded ordnance is still present on Cape Kīnaʻu. The reserve’s Kanahena Parking Area (also known as "Dumps") was a dump site for metal debris, such as barbed wire from around the coastline during and after the war. The popular surfing spot in the NAR takes its name from this former dump site. From 1980 to 2000, Maui's population doubled from 63,000 to 128,000. Including visitors, the number can reach 30-50,000 more. In 1980 the area bordering the reserve (Kīhei to Mākena) hosted 7,263 in a quiet rural area with miles of uncrowded beaches and a few small hotels. Today, Kīhei-Mākena is the second largest tourism area on Maui with a population of more than 22,400, in a 10 miles (16 km) strip of urban/suburban development. With more people and the paving of the road to La Pérouse Bay/Keoneʻōʻio in the 1990s, the reserve and adjacent areas became an increasingly popular destination. In 2001, visitor counts reached 805 people per day and as many as 339 vehicles. As of 2010, the partially closed reserve received an average of 700 visitors per day/250,000 per year.
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Ahihi-Kinaʻu Natural Area Reserve
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