Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shifting Sands

On April 23rd, in a regular feature of The Maui News called "Ask the Mayor," Mayor Arakawa explained the policy issues surrounding the export of sand from Maui to Oahu. On April 27th, The Maui News reported that $9.3 million is included for Kaanapali Beach restoration as part of Hawaii's proposed legislative budget for $1.1 billion in capital improvement projects.

Interested in the problem - even the concept - of beach restoration I tried to find out more about Kaanapali's restoration project. What I found was more about the problem than the solution - articles going back to December 1997. This one, prepared by University of Hawaii Sea Grant Extension Service and County of Maui Planning Department entitled "Beach Management Plan for Maui," does a good job of not only explaining the problem but references studies going back to 1971 which illustrates just how large a problem this is.

Regular visitors to Kaanapali Beach may be aware of the seasonal shifting of beaches as a result of currents. But unless they have been long time visitors, they may not be aware of the total effect of erosion.  Take a look at this promotional video from 1964 to see what the Kaanapali Beach looked like once upon a time:

You can get a glimpse of what it looks like right now:

Maui Eldorado Web Cam

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