Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach

BY CINDY KNAPMAN – In response to continued development pressure and seasonal beach erosion in Kailua, Oahu, the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL), in cooperation with the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Program (UH Sea Grant), has released a beach and dune management plan for Kailua Beach.

“The DLNR, in collaboration with UH Sea Grant, developed the Kailua Beach and Dune Management Plan in order to proactively identify land use and coastal management planning options for the long-term conservation of the Kailua coastal ecosystem,” noted Sam Lemmo, administrator of the DLNR Office of Conservation of Coastal Lands.

Dolan Eversole, NOAA Sea Grant Coastal Storms Program Coordinator for the Pacific Region who led the development of the management plan, said “Kailua was selected for this innovative planning effort because of its unique environmental characteristics such as the large and intact beach and dune systems. Part of the rationale behind this plan is to anticipate that the beach and dune system are very likely to change, especially considering global sea-level rise estimates.”

The plan identifies a number of threats that may affect Kailua Beach including long term effects of sea-level rise; continued erosion and ineffective sand and dune management practices; and insufficient shoreline construction setbacks. A series of land use and resource management recommendations are offered which are intended to provide science-based options for decision-makers to consider for long-term conservation of the beach and dune system. By accounting for sea-level rise in the recommendations, the plan is now being recognized as one of the first site-specific climate adaptation plans in Hawai‘i.  Since the policies, practices and specific measures can be reproduced elsewhere, the intention is that it will be integrated into a series of regional beach management plans and provide a template for statewide climate change adaptation policy.

For a copy of the plan, visit http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu or call (808) 956-7410.

The University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program is part of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s prestigious School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. It supports an innovative program of research, education and extension services directed to the improved understanding and stewardship of coastal and marine resources of the state, region and nation. Science serving Hawai’i and the Pacific for over 40 years.

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