Happened To...

An update on past news

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Kuhio Beach sand
is postponed

Question: What ever happened to state plans to add 10,000 cubic yards of sand to Kuhio Beach this month?

Answer: The $500,000 beach replenishment project has been postponed to January, so the state can conduct environmental monitoring of the nearby reef before, during and after the work, said Dolan Eversole, a University of Hawaii coastal geologist in charge of Department of Land and Natural Resources project.

At a public meeting Sept. 1, surfers and others questioned whether sand added to Kuhio Beach between the Kapahulu storm drain and the Waikiki Beach Center and Police Substation would wash out into the ocean and alter nearby surf breaks. Their biggest concern was for the Canoes and Baby Queens surfing spots.

Eversole conducted a test with fluorescent dye on Sept. 13 that he says shows that sand will move down the beach toward the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and shouldn't affect the surf breaks.

George Downing, spokesman for Save Our Surf, still doesn't support putting sand on the Ewa end of Kuhio Beach because of lingering doubt about its effects.

Meanwhile, the DLNR has decided to conduct monitoring of the reef offshore from the sand replenishment area to ensure that no live coral or other sea creatures are disturbed by the project, Eversole said.

The department also plans to record changes in the beach shoreline for several years after the project, using survey methods and possibly a video camera. Depending on weather conditions, the sand is expected to return to the ocean in two or more years.

The DLNR must obtain permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Health Clean Water Branch before it begins the beach replenishment. Eversole said the department will announce the start of the project when those permits have been issued.

American Marine Corp., the company that dredged the Ala Wai Canal last year, will perform the work. The company plans to dredge sand from the ocean floor 2,000 feet offshore, beyond the Canoes and Queens surf breaks, and transport it to Kuhio Beach via a submerged pipeline.

On the beach the sand will be dried, then spread by bulldozers after normal beach hours to minimize disruption on the beach, Eversole said. The work is expected to take 20 to 30 work days.

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