Playing in the mud

Who remembers when the Maalaea mudflats were going to be Maui’s second harbor?
A week or so ago, the DLNR and the Corps of Engineers announced they had abandoned plans to expand Maalaea Small Boat Harbor. Their statement said the proposal went back as far as 1968.
But even earlier than that, A&B once proposed to dredge out the mudflat area for a deepwater harbor. Maui is the only one of the four major islands without two harbors.
For a multitude of reasons, it never happened, and Maui still has only one commercial harbor.
Up until the early ’90s, Maui people used to drive onto the mudflats to change the oil in their trucks, draining the used oil into – well, into what we now recognize as valuable wetlands.
Perceptions change, don’t they?
Now the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure, a place where birders come to see Hawaiian coots (regular old coots can be seen ogling the girls at Dig Me Beach) and Hawaiian stilts.