‘We need to retreat’: North Shore homeowners violating state rules to save properties, DLNR says
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is now keeping track of homeowners trying to stop their properties from falling into the ocean along Oahu’s North Shore.
After a drone survey conducted earlier in September, the Department of Land and Natural Resources found that out of 20 homes along Ke Nui Drive, none of the owners are fully complying with the permits to mitigate erosion.
The state said many of the desperate attempts to keep waves from eating away at the crumbling shoreline are violating state rules.
This includes unauthorized placement of rocks and sandbags, and blocking beach access.
Officials said not only are efforts failing to keep homes safe, debris from the makeshift break walls is falling into the ocean and harming marine life.
“If we remove these structures, then we will have cesspools or houses falling into the ocean. We fix one environmental disaster; we create a new one,” said Michael Cain, administrator at the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.
“We need to retreat. We don’t know how to do it. We look for role models in other coastal communities, everyone is facing the same situation. No one has come up with a good plan on how to manage this.”
The Honolulu City Council is also struggling with a bill to move new developments farther back from the shoreline — to 60 feet in urban areas and up to 130 in rural areas.
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