‘A mess’: Beachgoers, businesses seek solutions to Waikiki’s disappearing shoreline

'A mess': Beachgoers, businesses seek solutions to Waikiki's disappearing shoreline

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Erosion along Waikiki is a perennial problem with no easy solution.

But the community isn't giving up, even as the situation is getting worse.

On Tuesday evening, beachgoers and business owners gathered to develop an action plan to combat erosion along Hawaii's most famous beach.

Dozens attended the meeting at the Waikiki Community Center. It was the first in a series of public informational meetings on improvement efforts for Waikiki.

The erosion problem at Kuhio Beach Park was a huge concern.

"It looks like a disaster," said visitor Shirley Henderson.

Henderson is from Canada but she has been visiting Hawaii since the 1980s.

She said Kuhio Beach doesn't look the same anymore.

"It's shocking. I didn't know there was concrete here. I like history so I wonder, When was it concrete? And where did the sand come from? And why is it all gone?" asked Henderson.

The concrete belonged to what was called the Waikiki Tavern back in the 1940s and 1950s. It was subsequently demolished and buried with sand to form Kuhio Beach.

However, the record-high king tides this summer have caused massive erosion.

"This is an old foundation that's been exposed by beach erosion. I think one of the things people need to understand is this whole Kuhio Beach was manufactured. The ocean used to be right up to what was then Waikiki Road. It's now Kalakaua Avenue," said Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association.

Egged said the current state of Kuhio Beach is the worst he has ever seen it. He called it "a mess."

The Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the University of Nawaii are looking for immediate and long-term solutions. One idea is to remove the concrete completely.

"Other solutions that have been kicked are to potentially replace some of the stub groins that were there previous to the 2012 Beach nourishment project. This would involve potentially a small sand bag groin to help stabilize the corner of the beach," said Dolan Eversole with the UH Sea Grant Program.

Information on the meetings will be posted here.

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