The erosion control project would renourish Maui’s Kahana Bay by widening it as much as 150 ft
The Kahana Bay Steering Committee and the Maui County Planning Department began the environmental review process for the Kahana Bay Erosion Mitigation Project. If approved, the project would aim to widen the Kahana Bay, Maui, Hawaii, shoreline by as much as 150 ft, using up to 100,000 cu yards of sand.
According to Hawaii News Now, the project is funded by the Kahana Bay Steering Committee, a group that represents nine oceanfront condominiums and a single kuleana parcel that have frequently been threatened by coastal erosion. The initial cost is estimated to be $8 million.
“The problem in the past is that we’ve been reactively planning on a parcel by parcel basis, and what we’ve done is just pushed the problem farther down the coastline,” said Jim Buika, a shoreline planner with the Maui County Planning Department. “There’s half a billion dollars worth of real estate at stake.”
In addition to the extensive sand renourishment that would use sand from nearby offshore sites, the project also calls for the construction of sand containment structures, such as T-head groins, to stabilize the beach. Once the project is completed, the Hololani Resort Condominiums intend to remove a temporary sheet pile wall that was built last year, reported Hawaii News Now.
The Kahana Bay Erosion Mitigation Project was developed after a previous petition to install a rock revetment failed to secure the legislature’s approval to use the state-owned shoreline. The rock revetment project faced community backlash. The West Maui Preservation Assn., Hawaiian fisherman and other residents argued that the seawalls and other hardening projects aggravate erosion along the West Maui coastline, have the potential to damage coastal ecosystems and increase erosion along other areas of the coast.
“We don’t just want to fight against seawalls and fight against developments and things like this,” said Kai Nishiki, a member of Na Papai Wawae Ulaula, to Hawaii News Now. “We want to find solutions that really work for our community.”
If approved, the Kahana Bay Erosion Mitigation Project is expected to begin in the summer of 2020.
This is a conceptual sketch for the Kahana Bay beach nourishment project with stabilization structures in West Maui. pic.twitter.com/nUSUGHoZKa— Lisa Kubota (@LisaKubota) March 14, 2019
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