Some say erosion at Kuhio Beach due to sand replenishment project

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Oct 15 2013 06:25:00 PM HST

Every year the shoreline at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki changes, but city officials say this year has been particularly bad, eroding 25 feet in about 10 days.

HONOLULU -

Waikiki Beach is being ravaged by erosion, even after a multimillion dollar project to shore it up.

Some say that very project only made things worse.

Click here to see Lara Yamada's report.

"We noticed the beach is a little shorter," said Josh Miller.

Still beautiful, but not exactly the view Miller was expecting.

"I can't imagine beaches eroding are good for the economy," said Miller.

Especially when it erodes fast.  People around here say Kuhio Beach, one of Waikiki's most popular spots, has changed dramatically in recent days.

"But now, look, I see all these big slabs exposed and no sand," said Waikiki Beachboy Bruce Apa.

As most people know, every year, every season, the shoreline changes, but they say this year has been particularly bad.  Just about 10 days ago, it was this far out, eroding back some 25 feet.

"The took out part of the jetty that was here," said Apa.  "And that changed the ecological system of the direction of the waves."

PHOTOS: Erosion decimates Oahu's North Shore

Click here to see photos of erosion on Oahu's North Shore.

Just last year, the state spent more than $2 million fattening up Kuhio Beach with some 24,000 cubic yards of offshore sand.

An aerial shot from Google Maps still shows the two jetties that were also removed by the state during the beach replenishment project.

The city and longtime beach boys familiar with the area believe that contributed to this year's accelerated erosion.

But, Kuhio Beach isn't the only area having a rough go of it.  Right now, a handful of North Shore residents are in emergency mode as the surf sucks away massive amounts of sand, collapsing walls and threatening expensive properties.

It's an unavoidable problem lifelong surfer Doc Paskowitz sees as an undeniable reality.

"You can build walls or empires and sooner or later the sea takes the sand away no matter how hard you try," said Paskowitz.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources say, as far as the removed jetties at Kuhio Beach, "Due to their age and deteriorating condition they posed a public safety hazard.  People would climb on them, slip and fall.  It was decided to remove them concurrent with the sand replenishing project in 2012."

A city spokesperson told KITV this is a problem the state will have to fix and pay for.

But, the city did erect a fence Tuesday afternoon and will be bringing in a "Beach Sand Consultant."

City and state representatives will be meeting Wednesday morning to discuss what to do next.

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