Hearing planned on Molokai sand dune protections

KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaii (AP) - The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is planning to hold a public hearing this week about a proposal to increase protections for environmentally and culturally important sand dunes in west Molokai.

A hearing on Papohaku Dunes is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center in Kaunakakai.

Papohaku Beach is 1 of the longest white sand beaches in Hawaii. Its dune system is 1 of the largest in the islands.

Historically, the area was a major canoe access point for the island's west coast and was home to a fishing village. One nearby hill housed two major heiau, while another was used for burials.

The department says the status quo is insufficient for preserving the dunes, its culturally significant shrines, burial sites and fragile ecosystem.

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