Maui properties take urgent action to fend off shore erosion

WAILUKU, Hawaii — Two West Maui properties have taken emergency measures to halt the growing shoreline erosion that threatens their buildings.

The Sands of Kahana Resort and the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel received special management area emergency permits last month to install protective materials along the shoreline, the Maui News reported Wednesday.

County shoreline planner Jim Buika said the erosion is from elevated sea levels and big winter storms.

“We’re dealing with lots of things being threatened right now,” he said.

Buika said efforts to protect buildings from the erosion have had domino effects over the years.

A seawall at the Pohailani Maui Resort pushed waves south toward the Hololani Resort. When Hololani tried to protect its shoreline with sandbags, the waves started eating away at the neighboring properties, until the Valley Isle Resort, Royal Kahana and Sands of Kahana all started to see erosion.

“It’s just been a tough chain of events to break the cycle,” Buika said

At Sands of Kahana, the erosion is 17 feet (5 meters) from the building. While at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, the waves have come up to within 20 feet (6 meters) of the building and are starting to undermine the beach walk.

Sands of Kahana’s permit allows it to install 3,500 square yards (2,926 square meters) of geotextile filter fabric in front of one of its buildings, as well as 300 ElcoRock sandbags filled with sand-sized material. Tensar marine mattresses filled with basalt stone also can be placed at each end of the sandbag structure.

The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel was approved to install sand-filled mattresses along its shoreline. Hotel General Manager Mike White said it has been 25 to 30 years since the hotel has had this level of erosion.

“We’re beginning the whole concept of managed retreat at the state level,” Buika said. “How do we do it? How do we move back? We have all the sea level rise reports right now, and we’re identifying these vulnerable shoreline areas. It’s serious stuff.”


Information from: The Maui News,

  1. Uncleaina February 16, 2018 6:29 am Reply

    Awww did ya build your mega-resort too close to the ocean? Maui has become California and their terrible management of shoreline access and overbuilding has caused this. Reap what ya sow guys. Good luck with that.

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