Shoreline property owners asked to trim back vegetation from public beaches

Shoreline property owners asked to trim back vegetation from public beaches

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "It's real quiet, real serene and my family came from the mainland," Kiki Bumanglag said, while taking a break from walking the beach at Kawaikui Beach Park in East Oahu.

"Just walk on the beach but it's kinda hard with this stuff in the way" she said, motioning to a heavy growth of naupaka.

In several spots there, and along the shoreline in the area, vegetation is encroaching on the walkable, public beach corridor.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has noticed. That's why the DLNR has notified 100 home owners in the area that they must clear the beach corridor within 21 days.

"Our intent is not to remove these important coastal plants. The goal is to move the plants back on to people's property and get them off the beach," said Sam Lemmo, Administrator for the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.

Noncompliance could result in a $1,000 fine for a first time offense, and $2,000 fines for each subsequent offense.  However, that's not what the DLNR wants.

"For the most part we don't go that direction in these cases. We really try to get voluntary compliance. Most people try to work with us," said Lemmo.

In addition to the public benefit of an unobstructed shoreline, properly maintaining the vegetation can have positive effects for the environment.

"In that way it actually grows beaches, enhances beaches.  It's a way of protecting and building beaches," Lemmo added.

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