Rough ocean conditions churn erosion concerns around Oahu

Rough ocean conditions churn erosion concerns around Oahu

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the recent high surf episodes coming in, North Shore beaches like Sunset are seeing more erosion.

It’s an issue researchers say need to be addressed now before it’s too late.

“The longer we wait, the more properties we have that will need some form of assistance or rescuing to move away from a very dangerous location, to move away from the shoreline,” said Chip Fletcher, associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.

Fletcher said wave run-up, removal of sand and erosion of the land that homes sit on is something that happens with each new swell event.

Just last week, Todd Dunphy’s home on Sunset Beach was flooded by a wave.

“Last week, the waves came into my house and down the sides of my house it was insane because I have no protection this is it, just sand,” said Dunphy.

On Friday, the state land board fined two beachfront homeowners for seawalls used to protect their homes.

Fletcher says seawalls temporarily protect properties but also put the natural environment at risk.

It’s a very, very difficult choice and the only appropriate ethical and scientifically logical choice to make is for the community government policy to develop some sort of assisted transition to our coastline communities so that they can move away from these locations,” said Fletcher.

But vacating his property is the last thing Dunphy wants to do.

“DLNR get it together, you got to act quick because we’re in desperate need of help,” said Dunphy.

“Sand that’s free and right in front of our houses would make a difference and make us a feel a lot better of them giving us something”

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