Honolulu (KHON2) – Coralie Chun Matayoshi is explaining the effects of sea level rising on the local real estate industry in KHON2’s latest podcast episode of “What’s The Law.”

According to University of Hawaii’s scientists, Oahu could lose 40 percent of its beaches in the next 20 years, due to the sea level rise accelerated by climate change. 

“Sea level rise itself is not inherently bad for beaches or the cause of beach loss.  Instead, it’s how we have responded to it, by allowing seawalls, sand burritos, and other forms of artificial shoreline hardening. As waves hit walls and sandbags along beaches, sand gets dragged back into the ocean and the beach eventually gets washed away.  Without these artificial structures, our beaches would be able to adapt to sea level rise by migrating inland as the waves get higher and higher,” says Coralie Chun Matayoshi, Producer and Host of KHON2’s What’s the Law.

Chun Matayoshi says, the public trust doctrine states that beaches belong to Hawaii residents and the government has a duty to protect natural resources such as beaches for future generations.

Chun Matayoshi says, “For years the government allowed property owners to apply for variances to build seawalls, but a law passed in 2020 now bans further construction of seawalls and other coastal hardening projects. Private property owners can still apply for emergency permits to install temporary protections like sand burrito, but the state needs to enforce the 3-year limit and not allow them to stay up indefinitely. And last year, the legislature passed a bill requiring sellers to disclose to buyers when there’s a threat of sea level rise – that law just went into effect on May 1.”

In addition to the effects of sea level rising, the latest podcast episode of “What’s The Law,” discusses why the state legislature chose to get rid of payday loans. 

“Last year, the Legislature got rid of payday loans in favor of installment loans which are paid back over time in smaller amounts.  The maximum loan amount is $1,500 with a maximum  interest rate of 36% and up to $35/month in fees.  Lenders have to be licensed and follow certain rules, and the new law went into effect at the beginning of this year,” says Chun Matayoshi. 

Viewers can listen to “What’s The Law” every Monday via KHON2’s official website.

KHON2 Presents “What’s The law”