This month we are going to visit Hawai’i. As I mentioned last August, the new Friends of Little Beach (FOLB) has taken on the task of trying to provide support for the traditional nude use of the beach. Their new website is up and running at www.littlebeachmaui.org.
The Hawai’i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is responsible for maintaining Hawai’i beaches. Parks Division Administrator Curt A. Cottrell, with the assistance of Maui District Superintendent Larry J. Pacheco, are the two individuals most responsible for the latest crackdown on nudity at Little Beach. So it came as no surprise they used their positions to downplay nude use and nude use acceptance in a report required to continue to receive federal funding for parks.
The Hawai’i State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) 2021 Update is prepared to conform with a basic requirement to qualify for continuous receipt of federal grants for outdoor recreation projects under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act, Public Law 88-758, as amended.
As FOLB reports on their website:
“The SCORP Report is produced at 5-year intervals to qualify for a Federal grant in support of Recreation Projects. A draft must be issued for public review along with the Report on Public Statements. The public statements showed strong demand for Clothing-Optional Beaches.
On page 104, the DLNR’s own tabulation ranks Clothing-Optional Beaches number five out of the 16 most participated water-based activities. The draft SCORP Report deceptively misrepresented and dismissed the will of the public.”
FOLB reported this deception to the DLNR’s agent and demanded an amendment in their response to the release of the report. The DLNR further hid the public response by burying it in a separate report. Hawai’i’s actions contrast with the success nude beaches are gaining in Florida. AANR-Florida is working to get the language removed from their Department of Environmental Protection regulations requiring swimsuits on all beaches. In fact, clothing-optional beaches are listed on the Visit Florida Website, www.visitflorida.com/beaches/faq/nude-beaches.
Let’s hope these grassroots efforts continue and cause a shift in state government acceptance of nude beaches. Normalizing nudity would go a long way to greater acceptance.