Community meeting addresses North Shore beach management plan

Published On: Feb 15 2014 06:53:37 PM HST   Updated On: Feb 15 2014 09:34:33 PM HST
HALEIWA, Hawaii -

Erosion is a big problem for North Shore residents even after the big swell came and left.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's story.

Dozens of concerned residents gathered to hear about a possible beach management plan.

The homes off Ke Nui Road on the North Shore show signs of the big battle with Mother Nature. For weeks, residents at Rocky Point saw parts of their property collapse.

"In the last couple months, the North Shore has really experienced a crisis in terms of the beach erosion at Ke Nui road and the barriers going up at Laniakea. Both of them are related because it means we are not taking enough care of our coastal areas," said North Shore resident Denise Antolini.

On Saturday, the community heard for the first time details on a bill State Sen. Clayton Hee introduced a bill for state funding of a beach management plan. The UH Sea Grant College Program would perform the initial planning and research with input from the community.

"Mother Nature has her way and I don't think it will get better. I think it will get worse," said Hee.

Remedies for coastal erosion and sea level rise were brought up as main concerns of environmentalists and residents. The beach management plan will prioritize the most needy areas.

"The Sunset Beach to Pipeline area is an area we know experiences high visitor count. There's a lot of visitor impact and a lot of erosion thats been going on," said Dolan Eversole with the Sea Grant Program.

Possible long-term solutions for erosion include receding from the shoreline or looking at building a temporary sea wall. Short terms ideas were brought up at the meeting as well.

"We might be looking at sand management and looking at public access. They get deflated from people walking down them so much, so some areas we recommend stairways," said Eversole.

This was the first of three community meetings. The next one will depend on if the bill moves forward in the state legislature. Hee said if it doesn't, the next step will be to look at a resolution.

The study would cost approximately $400,000 for years 2014 and 2015.


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