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Old 06-10-2009, 01:31 PM
 
303 posts, read 737,960 times
Reputation: 405

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So i live on the Big Island. Many of our beaches and historical sites have signs saying things to the feeling of "please don't take our sand and rocks!" etc, even if these are hand painted signs. I was on Maui a week ago and didn't see anything like this. I was on Wai'anapanapa black sand beach for about 10 minutes and saw several people taking GALLON ziplock backs filled with black sand and rocks...this blew me away! One woman walked past me and my husband after filling up a Dr. Pepper bottle with sand and pebbles. My husband said to her "You know, every bit of sand and rock you take from this beach leaves less here that will never come back."

Her reply was "Oh, I'm taking it back for other people." -as if that made any since at all for why she was taking them and how that made it okay...

So while checking into our cabin there we asked the lady in the office why they don't have up a sign or anything asking people not to take the sand and rocks. Her reply was "Oh they do it everyday. We just let them. It's just superstition."

This honestly saddened me even more than the stupid tourists. This lady works there and lives there! Does she really thought the only reason for not taking things is what she called superstition?

1. This superstition that is mentioned is trashing someones religion. If the sand is only sand, the rocks only rocks, then the cross is just wood and no one should have any problem using a cross for firewood. I do not believe in any religion, but i'm not going to disrespect someone elses by taking the rocks and sand from their land because i want to show it to my friends. Hawaiians believed that when someone dies their spirit attaches to sand, rocks, trees until they can make it to a jumping off point in order to pass over to the afterlife. When you take a rock, someones family members spirit may be attached to it. Amongst other religious reasons, it irritates me that everyone thinks there is a curse on only black lava rocks and it's just that a curse. a curse for no reason, a curse for no means.

2. As much as I respect someone elses beliefs, this reason is more important to me personally. If everyone takes a sea shell, there will be no more sea shells left. If everyone takes sand from Wai'anapanapa (which was made by the volcano erupting a certain way, NOT by erosion) or any beach, there will be none left. It's very greedy and ignorant to take the sand for something as useless as "collecting to show where you've been." Even if a beach is created and "regenerated" by erosion it takes sometimes hundreds of years to do this! It's just wrong for so many different reasons.

It's the equivilent of littering to me. People go to a beautiful spot to enjoy nature and the scenery, the activities that the area offers because of these things. They leave for home and leave behind bottles, bags, trash. People go to enoy these same places and take it with them, degrading the beautiful place they came, probably a very far ways, to expirience and see. I just don't get it-it makes zero sense! And this goes for anywhere, not just Hawai'i. I would be just as mad if i saw someone taking a rock from Big Bend because it was "pretty".

I saw a woman once climbing on a heiau because she "thought it was for climbing" then she proceeded to chase a sea turtle trying to grab it. I'm sure she took some sand home too.

Please, i stress to everyone, if you, family or friends visit hawai'i or move here, don't do stupid stuff. It's very, very easy to have common sense and still have a good time. Pictures are so much more efficient for showing people what beach you were on and what it looked like. If you want to always have this same beautiful hawai'i to enjoy, use your common sense or READ up just a tiny bit on the place you are visiting.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Kilauea, Hawaii
185 posts, read 557,592 times
Reputation: 139
I hear you...the other day we were at Anini Beach and a tourist was picking up coral and whatever fancies him. Starting talking to him and says that when he was here a few years ago there was so much more to get. Told him that is because of people like you stealing it....he the proceeded to empty his bag and move on his way.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:27 PM
 
303 posts, read 737,960 times
Reputation: 405
that amazes and surprises me that someone actually emptied their bag and went on there way. i hope it happens more often!
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,882 posts, read 9,571,461 times
Reputation: 3046
When the Superferry was going between Maui and Oahu there were those folks who gathered up a truck full of rocks and tried taking them back to Oahu. They had all sorts of legal trouble over that. I think they had to pay a big fine, I don't know if they had jail time over it or not.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Was in Western New York but now in Hilo Hawaii
1,234 posts, read 2,890,126 times
Reputation: 395
I so very much agree with this!

I think when people come to the Islands (or for that matter anywhere) they should have to read and sign a form saying tho the fact that they would respect and honer the culture and ecosystem of the area.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
433 posts, read 788,880 times
Reputation: 94
I agree.

We are sadly moving away from Kailua in two months and I just took some coral that I had accumulated in my house and put it back outside. it needs to stay in hawaii......keeping the coral won't make me miss hawaii any less....but I'd feel guilty if I took it.

I remember one visit to the big island there were people selling vials of sand near punalu'u.......
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Kittery Point, ME
87 posts, read 202,853 times
Reputation: 61
SO if you were to buy it instead of taking it from the beach does that make it ok? Being that it comes from the same place originally, I would think not. I am not from Hawaii, but have been there and did not take any sand or shells or whatever. It needs to stay I agree. But the person that takes it from the beach is no worse than the one that buys it from sa vendor......but the vendor who lives there and knows the significance to the local community is by far worse than the people who buy or take from the beach.

Just my .02


I wont take any or let my guests take any when I live there in about 10 months....it isnt right.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:13 PM
 
303 posts, read 737,960 times
Reputation: 405
nah, i don't think some local gathering and selling it is any better. You're right, it does feel like they would know more what they are up to and is just down right despicable. On the other hand, a lady at Hilo Hatties was talking about how they make imitation lava rocks for necklaces out of clay so people still take it with them but they don't take from the land...i thought it was a great idea. take a pinapple, it will be much cooler to take than a bottle of sand or rocks!
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Upstate New York
263 posts, read 622,498 times
Reputation: 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by wb3690 View Post
I agree.

We are sadly moving away from Kailua in two months and I just took some coral that I had accumulated in my house and put it back outside. it needs to stay in hawaii......keeping the coral won't make me miss hawaii any less....but I'd feel guilty if I took it.

I remember one visit to the big island there were people selling vials of sand near punalu'u.......
What's the difference between removing the coral out of the ocean and taking it to the mainland where you can enjoy looking at it, but nobody else can, or putting it in your house in Kailua where you can enjoy looking at it, but nobody else can?

Saying "but it's still in Hawaii" is no justification. If it's gone from the beach it's gone from the beach.

Bob
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
20 posts, read 64,576 times
Reputation: 29
Reminds me of the saying " Leave nothing but footprints, Take nothing but pictures".
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