HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

136

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

Requesting the City and County of Honolulu to lead community education workshops regarding the recommendations of the north shore coastal resilience working group and seek public input from individuals and organizations for the development of a comprehensive and community-driven coastal resilience plan for the North Shore of oahu.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the consequences of global climate change have already begun to impact Hawaii, such as by causing beaches and coastal neighborhoods to be affected by extreme erosion and rising sea levels; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, published in December 2017, estimates that by the end of the century, climate change will result in the loss of $19,000,000,000 in land and critical infrastructure, the displacement of nearly twenty thousand residents, and the flooding of six thousand five hundred structures; and

 

WHEREAS, current responses to rising sea levels have focused largely on shoreline hardening, which exacerbates erosion in order to protect private property interests for the short term; and

 

WHEREAS, coastal communities and ecosystems deserve comprehensive and long-term strategies that properly respect the power and significance of the ocean; and

 

WHEREAS, the power of the ocean is on full display on the North Shore of Oahu, where rising sea levels have already reclaimed property; and

 

WHEREAS, this body recognizes the ongoing efforts of the community-initiated North Shore Coastal Resilience Working Group (Working Group), convened in 2021 by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program and Surfrider Foundation, with support from SSFM International; and

 

WHEREAS, the Working Group is a voluntary collaborative effort among a group of twenty-five diverse stakeholders including the State, City and County of Honolulu, beachfront and other residents of the North Shore of Oahu, elected officials, and University of Hawaii faculty; and

 

WHEREAS, the goals of the Working Group include:

 

(1) Discussing and evaluating options related to coastal hazards, including chronic coastal erosion, flooding, climate change, and sea level rise adaptation on the North Shore of Oahu;

 

(2) Improving community resilience;

 

(3) Conserving the natural beach ecosystem, nearshore marine environment, and wildlife habitats; and

 

(4) Protecting public access, recreational resources, and water quality; and

 

WHEREAS, the geographic focus of the Working Group is the North Shore Planning District, from Kaena Point to Velzyland Beach, with particular emphasis on developing adaptation pathways for coastal erosion "hot spots" at Sunset Beach and Kammies, Mokuleia, and Chuns Reef and Laniakea Beach; and

 

WHEREAS, the Working Group has met five times since September 2021 and anticipates issuing recommendations in Summer 2022, with the possibility of continued work on these issues; and

 

WHEREAS, the Working Group may provide innovative policy options for future consideration by the State and City and County of Honolulu and could serve as a model for other communities in Hawaii to follow in responding to regional coastal erosion challenges resulting from climate change and sea level rise; and

 

WHEREAS, the findings of the Working Group must be strengthened through the lens of Hawaiian knowledge, culture, and science, which emphasize the reciprocal relationship of humans and nature; and

 

WHEREAS, this body strongly supports the efforts of the Working Group, welcomes its recommendations for a legislative response to the urgent issues affecting the North Shore of Oahu, and looks forward to considering whether the Working Group provides a model process that may be helpful for other vulnerable and at-risk coastal areas across Hawaii; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2022, that the City and County of Honolulu is requested to lead community education workshops regarding the recommendations of the North Shore Coastal Resilience Working Group and seek public input from individuals and organizations for the development of a comprehensive and community-driven coastal resilience plan for the North Shore of Oahu; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the individuals and organizations from which the City and County of Honolulu is requested to seek public input include but are not limited to residents of the North Shore of Oahu, lineal descendants of the North Shore area of Oahu, Hawaiian civic clubs, āina-based organizations, neighborhood boards, and cultural practitioners; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu and Chairperson of the Honolulu City Council.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

Report Title:

Coastal Resilience; North Shore of Oahu