New beach could come to Waikiki as part of improvement and maintenance proposal

Local News

WAIKIKI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Behind the Halekulani Hotel and Sheraton Waikiki there could be a new beach coming in a few years.

It’s all a part of the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s proposed Waikiki beach improvement and maintenance program.

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It’s a plan that’s been three years in the making.

“It’s basically an amenity and is going to enhance the the experience of people that come to Waikiki,” said Sam Lemmo, DLNR Ofice of Conservation and Coastal Lands Administrator. “It’ll make it a lot easier for them to get from one end of Waikiki to the other.”

Some call this project a key part of keeping Waikiki alive.

“It’s seriously endangered from an erosion standpoint and sea level rise is only going to exacerbate that situation,” said Rick Egged of the Waikiki Improvement Association. “We need to move forward with the the structures that we’re looking at on the beach.”

DLNR plans on building the new beach with the help of groins or t-shaped walls in the water like the one near Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

“These groins would be very similar to that,” said Egged. “There would be more of them. The Royal Hawaiian one would actually be the book end, it would be the the Diamond Head end of this new array of groins and beaches.”

Visitors say it’ll be a welcomed addition.

“Well we all got hit by the waves,” said Stephanie Kennan, a visitor from California. “We all got sandy on the way to dinner. So this will be much more comfortable then being on a cramped sidewalk,”

Others are concerned about surf spots being cut off, but DLNR says there’s nothing to worry about.

“The wave energy gets dissipated on the rocks and so there won’t be any refraction of wave energy back into the surf sites,” Lemmo said. “There should be no impact to the surf sites from a project of this nature, at this particular location.”

DLNR’s proposal will also look to improve other popular beach fronts.

“We’re also looking at projects to help us manage the sand placement and Fort DeRussy Beach,” Egged said. “Also help us improve the situation at Kuhio Beach Park. They have a basin. We’re looking at being able to better manage the sand there and improve the water quality,”

The public has until July 23 to submit written input, click here for more information.

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