Apr 16, 2018

West Maui Sea Wall Faces Opposition

Residents and environmentalists fear the coastal flood protection device could damage beaches and water quality throughout West Maui

Erosion control sea wall faces opposition in Maui, Hawaii

A group of West Maui, Hawaii, residents and environmentalists have filed suit against the Hololani Assn. of Apartment Owners in opposition to a proposed sea wall protecting the Hololani Resort Condominiums from coastal erosion. Na Papa’i Wawae ‘Ula’ula, the West Maui Preservation Assn., Native Hawaiian fisherman and resident Felimon Sadang, represented by attorney Lance Collins, argues that 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.

Currently, Maui County has approved the condominium’s construction of a temporary sea wall structure, while the county works on a regional sand nourishment project for Kahana Bay. Those in opposition to the project argue that the construction would lead to a domino effect, forcing surrounding landowners to turn their sandbag revetments in to permanent flood control structures in order to continue erosion protection. Residents fear the project will negatively impact the quality of West Maui beaches.

The Hololani Assn. of Apartment Owners say that their sea wall has been designed to not increase erosion in neighboring properties.

“If erosion is allowed to continue, the resulting shoreline will consist of a cliff and very poor water quality, high turbidity due to the landward red soils and darker material washing into the ocean, which would be damaging to the marine life, suc has the coral colonies that are presently flourishing offshore. The turbidity would also make the bay undesirable for human use,” Hololani Assn. of Apartment Owners President Stuart Allen said, as reported by The Maui News.