By Wendy Osher
A new partnership between the state, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority and Kyoya Company aims to restore and maintain sand at Waikiki Beach.
Governor Neil Abercrombie joined Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson William Aila yesterday in unveiling the $2.4 million project.
The state is contributing $1.5 million for the project, while Kyoya and HTA are providing $500,000 each.
The sand replenishment project is expected to take about 60 days to complete and will begin in late December 2011, to take advantage of calmer ocean conditions in the winter. The work will extend along 1,700-feet of shoreline beginning at the Duke Kahanamoku statue to the area between Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki hotels.
Approximately 24,000 cubic yards of sand will be recovered from deposits located 2,000 feet offshore, and pumped to the shoreline. The project will widen the beach by about 37 feet, restoring the beach to its approximate width in 1982.
“Through this public-private partnership, we will take care of Waikiki beach for all people of Hawai‘i to enjoy,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This partnership is a great example of being innovative and collaborative in moving forward with our New Day Plan.”
“Everyone, from businesses to community groups and the public, is responsible for taking care of our environment,” Chairperson Aila said. “We are restoring Waikiki Beach that has eroded over the years in a way that is socially and ecologically responsible.”
The announcement was made at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel with HTA president Michael McCartney and Kyoya Executive Vice President Ernest Nishizaki.
“I was born and raised in Hawai‘i and I remember going to Waikiki Beach as a young boy,” Mr. Nishizaki said. “We believe it’s important to restore Waikiki Beach for long term use by residents and visitors. This is a great time and opportunity to partner with the state to see that our shared goal is accomplished.”
DLNR will work on the project in stages to minimize impacts to beach goers, with so most of the beach remaining open for public use.
The same offshore sand deposits were used in 2007 to pump 10,000 cubic yards to three sites on Kuhio Beach. The $475,000 pilot project was successful in restoring the beach for ongoing recreational use. The project garnered the 2008 award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association for the Best Restore Beach.
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