HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -If you consider the huge threat to our state from rising sea levels, and the threat to our economy if we lose Waikiki beach, the state’s first effort to challenge the forces of nature in Waikiki is pretty modest.
Construction was finished last week on a 95-foot groin made basically of big sand bags, designed to last 10-20 years.
The state and an association of Waikiki businesses shared the $700,000 cost - and will share the costs of future efforts as well - which will be considerable.
State officials say Waikiki will need continuous sand replenishment as well as additional larger structures to keep the sand from disappearing. The state’s estimating those efforts will cost more than $12 million in the next couple of years alone.
The hope is that the combination of structures and importing sand will protect the shoreline well into the future - but its not a sure thing.
Climate experts and officials say its worth the investment to protect a beach that is crucial to the visitor industry.
We believe we should all recognize it is just the beginning of what’s ahead for a state at the point of the spear of climate change.