Sea level concerns rising

PUHI — Parts of Kauai will be underwater within the next 50 to 100 years, according to a report the state is developing on sea level rise.

“Trends vary throughout the islands, but that makes Hawaii a good laboratory for studying the effect of sea level rise,” said Brad Romine, coastal geologist with University of Hawaii Sea Grant, who contributed to the report.

Romine was one of the speakers who presented the State’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaption Report, Monday night at the Lihue Civic Center.

The report forecasts a global sea level rise of three feet by 2100. And that’s a modest estimate according to some predictions, the more extreme of which forecast up to a five-foot sea level rise in the next century.

The report was mandated by the Hawaii legislature through the creation of Act 83 in 2014. The act created the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee.

Bits of the report were released for community feedback Monday at the second round of public meetings throughout the state.

“So this is a report on sea level rise that we’re giving to the legislature, it’s not a plan,” said Sam Lemo, administrator with DLNR.

Maka’ala Ka’aumoana of Hanalei said she’s been involved in the creation of the community’s own sea level rise report, addressing some of the issues unique to the North Shore.

“We’d like it if our report informed your report, and if we can get your information so your report can inform our report,” Ka’aumoana said.

The report is set to be finalized and released at the end of this year. It will also go to the Legislature for its consideration.

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