Free shoreline management workshop is at KCC today

State Department of Land and Natural Resources and University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program officials are conducting a free, integrated-shoreline workshop, at the Kaua’i Community College cafeteria today from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., they said in a press release.

The workshop is intended to highlight the efforts of state officials to improve coordination between leaders of state, federal and county agencies tasked with shoreline management and its many challenges.

“We believe these workshops are timely and necessary to inform government agencies, businesses, landowners, home-owners and community associations on the latest approaches to protecting our precious coastal resources,” said DLNR chairperson Peter Young.

“There continues to be growing interest in the range of actions that can address coastal erosion and hazard mitigation, regulatory issues and common questions regarding coastal land use, and these workshops will be very helpful for persons looking for solutions,” Young said.

Registration is not required to attend the workshop. Walk-ins are welcome.

Young this morning was scheduled to join with UH Sea Grant College Program coastal experts at a press conference to unveil recent initiatives aimed at more effective management of Hawai’i’s coastal areas, followed by a briefing of members of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Topics that will be discussed include shoreline certifications, coastal hazard mitigation efforts, development of new erosion-control alternatives, and other traditional erosion-control methods.

“As an island state, Hawai’i is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards such as hurricanes, tsunamis, storm surge and shoreline erosion,” said Young in a second press release.

“Our coastal areas are clearly the most vulnerable, and yet are the most intensively developed areas throughout the state,” he said.

“To mitigate the risk of coastal hazards as well as improve stewardship of coastal and marine resources, DLNR and UH Sea Grant formed a unique partnership to more effectively address critical issues facing Hawai’i’s coasts,” he continued.

“We are excited to make this presentation to discuss the most current and forward-looking initiatives,” Young said.

Dolan Eversole and Chris Conger, both UH Sea Grant Extension Agents and coastal geologists, are positioned within DLNR in an advisory capacity to integrate best available science in coastal-land-use decision-making, and provide technical expertise on a broad range of coastal-land-use and hazard-mitigation issues.

“We are excited to partner with Peter Young and the DLNR staff in this innovative collaboration to protect Hawai’i’s coasts,” noted Gordon Grau, UH Sea Grant director.

“DLNR and UH Sea Grant share a common goal of combining scientific research and community outreach to effectively manage the marine and coastal environment, and partnerships such as this perpetuate the enhanced stewardship of Hawai’i’s precious natural resources,” he said.

Also today on Kaua’i, DLNR officials have a public hearing in the Lihu’e State Building at 6 p.m. to discuss a rule change to define “shoreline.”

The meeting is to receive public testimony on proposed amendments to Chapter 13-222, Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), regarding shoreline certifications.

Currently, the definition of “shoreline” under the state Board of Land and Natural Resources shoreline-certification rules differs from the definition under Chapter 205A-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The BLNR members recently approved a change so the rule mirrors the law.

“There needs to be consistency not only in the definition of ‘shoreline,’ but also in the on-site practice of evaluating all evidence in determining the certified shore,” said Young.

“The proposed rules amendment will result in consistent language between the statute and rule,” he said.

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