Beaches...going, going

Baldwin Beach Park on Maui is losing its beach to severe erosion, a Maui News article reported Aug. 23. The shoreline is closing in on the park's outdoor shower; if it approaches the restrooms, which use a cesspool, a lengthy closure of the park may result. "Baldwin Beach Park has the highest erosion rate on Maui," a coastal geologist said in the article, and a "'combination of factors led to a particularly bad year'" for the beach.

Maui isn't alone. "Beach erosion 'widespread'" was the headline of a front-page article in the Sunday Honolulu Advertiser Aug. 6 that reported, "As much as 25 percent of sandy beach land on Oahu and Maui has been lost in the past 50 years." The article quoted Dennis Hwang, author of the Hawaii Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook (see FR post), as stating:
Slowly, people are starting to realize that the coastline is very dynamic and maybe there is a benefit to moving away from it, rather than fighting it....The key is to start planning early for hazards that we know are coming.
A brochure, Coastal erosion and beach loss in Hawaii (html, SOEST) from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), discusses beach erosion and DLNR's Coastal Lands Program (CLP). The purpose of CLP, according to the brochure, is to establish a framework to protect Hawaii's beaches, and that framework is set forth in the Coastal Erosion Management Plan (COEMAP) (pdf, 90 pages/800 KB).

For further information, Surfrider Foundation, "a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches," provides an in-depth look at Hawaii Beach Erosion.

Photo from brochure (pdf)

Related FR post: Beach closed, maybe gone



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