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Stable Road Beach Protection Proposed

Posted October 10, 2012, 08:20 AM HST
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Project Beach, August 2006. Photo courtesy State of Hawai’i, Draft Environmental Assessment – Stable Road Beach Groins Replacement Project.

By Wendy Osher

A project is being proposed to protect a stretch of beach along Stable Road in Central Maui.

The Stable Road Beach Restoration Foundation wants to replace four existing geotube sand retention devices with more durable rock retention groins.

The group filed a Draft Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact for the project saying the beach area suffers from decades of chronic beach erosion and retreat.

According to the document the group notes that the erosion has resulted in adverse environmental impacts to beach use, water quality, marine life, and habitat for endangered species in Spreckelsville.

Bathroom damage due to erosion at Baldwin Beach Park. Courtesy photo, County of Maui.

In the Spring of 2010, the group implemented a small scale beach nourishment project in which the temporary sand retention devices were installed.  According to the document, the temporary measures resulted in significant reduction in the rate of beach erosion and prevented land loss.

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Prior to the installation of the temporary groins, the Project Beach experienced a four-fold increase of the historic UH annual erosion and beach retreat rates between 2006 to 2010, the document states.

According to the DEA, other areas in the vicinity from 2006 to the present have also experienced significantly increased rates of annual beach erosion and land loss including Kanaha Beach Park to the west and Baldwin Beach Park in Paia to the east.

At Baldwin Beach Park a restroom building fell into the ocean in the summer of 2011 due to beach retreat causing the land under the building to be exposed and eroded.

A 30 day public review and comment period runs through November 7th.

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