Presentation Title

Access to Blue Space in Postcolonial Hawaiʻi Island

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Though access laws may seem straight-forward, they inherently give legal precedence to certain worldviews. The cultural context that access laws are implemented within may make it easier for certain user groups to access natural resources than others. This paper draws on a mixed methods study that resulted in both qualitative and spatial analyses to explore public access to shoreline spaces on Hawai’i Island. The implementation of Hawai’i Island’s public shoreline access laws relies on a Western, binary view of public/private space that has historically favored settler acquisition of property. The naturalization of these laws on Hawai’i Island has led to the disenfranchisement of non-Western ontological beliefs and has forced communities that have traditionally viewed land in other ways, such as Native Hawaiians, to ascribe. This dynamic is further complicated by Hawai’i Island’s economic reliance on a tourism industry which depends on the consumption of Hawaiian shoreline and culture. This paper examines perceptions held by different user groups of public shoreline access levels on Hawai’i Island. It draws on blue space and legal geographies to explore various cultural ideas of appropriate shoreline use and examines how legal codification of public shoreline access affects the performance of these ideas.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Beverley Wemple

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Geography

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Access to Blue Space in Postcolonial Hawaiʻi Island

Though access laws may seem straight-forward, they inherently give legal precedence to certain worldviews. The cultural context that access laws are implemented within may make it easier for certain user groups to access natural resources than others. This paper draws on a mixed methods study that resulted in both qualitative and spatial analyses to explore public access to shoreline spaces on Hawai’i Island. The implementation of Hawai’i Island’s public shoreline access laws relies on a Western, binary view of public/private space that has historically favored settler acquisition of property. The naturalization of these laws on Hawai’i Island has led to the disenfranchisement of non-Western ontological beliefs and has forced communities that have traditionally viewed land in other ways, such as Native Hawaiians, to ascribe. This dynamic is further complicated by Hawai’i Island’s economic reliance on a tourism industry which depends on the consumption of Hawaiian shoreline and culture. This paper examines perceptions held by different user groups of public shoreline access levels on Hawai’i Island. It draws on blue space and legal geographies to explore various cultural ideas of appropriate shoreline use and examines how legal codification of public shoreline access affects the performance of these ideas.