TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO BEACH MANAGEMENT FOR THE NORTH SHORE OF OAHU.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the northwest-facing shore of the north shore of Oahu, stretching from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a is a spectacular coastline of primary importance to state residents and visitors from around the world for its beautiful sandy beaches, famous surf breaks, recreational opportunities, marine resources and wildlife, and vistas. Several important north shore beaches are at increasing risk of erosion and deterioration from a combination of high energy waves, winter surf, tsunami events, sea level rise and climate change, and coastal erosion and intensive use by people accessing the shoreline. Estimates indicate that nearly half of all visitors to Oahu visit the north shore during their stay, and most of the shoreline beach parks and coastal access areas along the north shore have visibly inadequate infrastructure to handle the high number of residents and the millions of visitors who are attracted to these beaches each year, causing additional erosion and damage to natural resources.
Recently, homes in the Ke Nui road area on the north shore have been damaged and are still at risk from high surf and eroding beaches, causing significant disruption and calls for government action in the short- and long-term for beachside homeowners. In addition, some key sections of Kamehameha highway, including sections along Laniakea beach and Chun's reef, are currently subject to erosion due to high surf, storm events, and loss of sand. The Pupukea marine life conservation district, which stretches from Waimea bay to Shark's cove, is experiencing high levels of shoreline erosion due to poor management, severely eroded walkways due to lack of infrastructure and planning, and parking lot and road collapse due to sink holes and over-use. Other areas along the coastline are at risk from the lack of overall planning for protection of the beaches, beach access areas, and shoreline uses. Nonetheless, Hawaii's beaches and coastline are part of the public trust, held by the State for the benefit of the people, and the State has a fiduciary duty to affirmatively protect beaches and coastal access.
Therefore, the legislature finds that long-term protection of the northwest-facing north shore beaches from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a, which are subject to a common wave regime and share common beach erosion characteristics, requires a comprehensive assessment and modern management plan that recognizes the risks of climate change and sea level rise. The large number of government, business, private, and community entities involved in the north shore would benefit from participating in the development and implementation of a comprehensive beach management plan for this vulnerable area.
In 2010, the University of Hawaii sea grant college program successfully produced a beach and dune management plan for Kailua beach, which provided an extensive analysis of the current state of this important beach and recommended management measures for federal, state, and local government, as well as community partners, in response to threats such as climate change and sea level rise. This study serves as a useful prototype for the implementation of beach management plans at other locations and demonstrates the effectiveness of location-specific beach management policies and practices, which the north shore would greatly benefit from. The north shore's northwest-facing coastline is more than five times longer than the 2.6 mile stretch of Kailua beach surveyed and will require greater funding and resources to accomplish such comprehensive planning.
The purpose of this Act is to provide funds for the University of Hawaii sea grant college program to create a north shore beach management plan covering the area from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a, with substantial community input, over a two-year period.
SECTION 2. (a) Over the course of a two-year period, the University of Hawaii sea grant college program shall create a north shore beach management plan for the area of the north shore of Oahu that stretches from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a. The University of Hawaii sea grant college program shall ensure the inclusion of substantial community input in developing the plan. The plan shall consider innovative means to address erosion of private property, including recommendations to set homes and vehicular traffic back from the beach and to address recreational access, vistas, and traffic issues relating to the receding coastline.
(b) The plan under subsection (a) shall also include:
(1) Long- and short-term planning and climate change scenarios;
(2) Temporary and emergency erosion management;
(3) Beach and dune management techniques based on sediment transport;
(4) Shoreline public access management and foot traffic control;
(5) Beach and dune nourishment;
(6) Longer-term coastal land use strategies;
(7) Shoreline protection and erosion management;
(8) Shoreline setbacks, rolling easements, and land acquisition;
(9) Public park expansion, land swaps, and transfer of development rights; and
(10) Innovative means to adapt to coastal hazards.
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the University of Hawaii sea grant college program to create a comprehensive north shore beach management plan for the north shore of Oahu stretching from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a pursuant to this Act.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2016.
North Shore of Oahu; Beach Management Plan; University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program; Appropriation
Appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii sea grant college program to create a north shore beach management plan for the north shore of Oahu stretching from the Kawailoa to Waiale‘e ahupua‘a.
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