Erosion plagues Waikiki's DeRussy Beach - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Erosion plagues Waikiki's DeRussy Beach

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Koa Beach Service used to set up and rent 30 large beach umbrellas on DeRussy Beach until erosion stole the sand. Now only 10 umbrellas fit.

"We used to be able to set them up all throughout here. But now it's all disappeared. It's too much of a steep hill, so it took away a lot of our beach," rental attendant Cody Sawyer said.

The smaller shoreline near the Army Museum at Fort DeRussy means fewer sunbathers outside Koa Oasis and fewer sales of food and drink.

"No people. No dollars. It has definitely affected sales here," clerk Kimo Tagupa said.

At one time DeRussy had a substantial shoreline. Nature rearranged the floor plan.

"You will see that a lot of the sand that normally was in that area has now shifted down to the other end, the west end of the beach, down near the Hilton Hawaiian Village," said Sam Lemmo of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

He said shoreline improvements contributed to the shift along with waves and currents.

"With that big swell that came in the beginning of summer, it took away a lot of the sand. And then usually it brings it back in. But it's just been going," Sawyer said.

"The top of the sidewalk, that's where the sand would be mounded as opposed to now where it's no sand," Tagupa said.

Lenmo said the way to counter the erosion is with a procedure called sand back-passing.

"Taking some of the sand from the west end of the beach and moving it back to the east end of the beach," he said.

DeRussy Beach underwent a major beach restoration in 1967 and 1970. Erosion has plagued DeRussy for years. This episode is pretty bad.

"Over here the wall's exposed and the beach is pretty much gone as you can see," Sawyer said.


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