New developments urged to plan for severe coastal erosion, flooding from sea level rise

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sea level rise ocean crashing waves on shore

Future developments should consider the potentially devastating impacts of sea level rise, experts say, which include severe coastal erosion and flooding.

The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission at its regular quarterly meeting adopted a series of recommendations to help guide Hawaii’s response to the impacts of climate change.

The commission has already said the city should plan for three feet of sea level rise by the mid-century, and if action isn’t taken now, nearly 4,000 structures on Oahu would be flooded, and nearly 18 miles of coastal roads would become impassable.

The strategies recommended by the Climate Commission include:

  • Support legislation for disclosure for private property and public offerings located in areas with potential exposure to sea level rise.
  • Request all new development, redevelopment and modifications be directed away from beach areas.
  • Urge counties to incorporate the 3.2 ft. sea level rise exposure area (SLR-XA) into their general and development plans.
  • Encourage agencies and non-governmental utility providers to identify and prioritize assets within the 3.2 ft SLR-XA or more as described in the State’s Sea Level Rise report, identify adaptation measures, and to provide a status update on this activity annually to the Climate Commission.
  • Support legislation that funds State programs to meet mitigation goals, and to bring resources to assist in planning and implementation for sea level rise and other climate related impacts.

The Climate Commission is led by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair and the Director of the State Office of Planning, and includes members from key state and county agencies.

The next quarterly meeting of the Climate Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1 to 4 p.m., at the Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting room, Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl Street in Honolulu.

All meetings are open to the public.

Click here for more information.

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