Thursday, June 4, 2009

Support For Ala Moana's Open Water Swimmers

The Ala Moana Beach Park is a wonderful place for open water swimmers. Located minutes away from the Waikiki Roughwater Swim course, Ala Moana is within view of the famous Diamond Head volcano on Oahu. The 1K straightaway course in Ala Moana's warm, calm waters always has swimmers going parallel to its tropical shoreline, from early morning to evening.

But there is a local government proposal to limit use of Ala Moana by swimmers that the Hawaii Swimming Club members are trying to stop.

Due to recent conflicts between swimmers and paddle-boarders in Ala Moana, the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources and Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation have proposed new rules that will severely limit accessibility for swimmers in Ala Moana. What is surprising and disappointing to swimmers is that the state government will soon hold similar hearings on Kauai and is planning to use their proposed plan as a model on other beaches and islands in Hawaii.

We strongly support the Hawaii Swimming Club's lobbying efforts to stop the Department of Land and Natural Resources / Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation's proposal to divide Ala Moana - and other beaches - with buoys so swimmers and stand-up paddlers are separated - especially when the swimmers (and divers and snorkelers) are given limited, narrow and shallow zones along the shore while the majority of the beach is protected for paddle boarders. The local water safety people are not in favor of this plan, seeing it as unenforceable and not leading to a safer environment for all to enjoy.

Copyright © 2009 by Open Water Swimming

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