A Decade of Debris Removed from Molokai’s Kepuhi Beach

October 16, 2009, 1:45 PM HST · Updated January 5, 8:38 AM
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A pile of concrete debris and fill, left by a decade of erosion, was removed from Kepuhi Beach on Molokai.  The debris was caused by the incremental collapse of a walkway, wall and stairs that gave way as the shoreline moved inward.

Rubble at Kepuhi Beach before the cleanup. Photo Courtesy the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands

Rubble at Kepuhi Beach before the cleanup. Photo Courtesy the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources partnered with Molokai Properties in the removal effort.  The DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) is the state agency responsible for stewarding state beach resources seaward of the shoreline.  In the past three years, OCCL has assisted with the removal of more than 800 cubic yards of material from state beaches and near-shore waters statewide — enough to cover an entire football field in the thickness of a concrete slab.

“As part of the OCCL’s responsibility as a steward for the coastal environment, our staff has worked with dozens of landowners around Hawaii to remove building and development debris as well as illegal shoreline structures from the shoreline. Removal of offending or illegal material from the shorelines and beaches of Hawaii improves public shoreline access and natural beach processes,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.

“Our OCCL staff worked closely with Molokai Properties to ensure that the cleanup work completed was sufficient to return the shoreline to its original condition so the public could again enjoy it,” said Sam Lemmo, OCCL manager.

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The OCCL also works to protect beach resources by conducting beach restoration projects, enforcement of unauthorized shoreline structures, shoreline certifications, shoreline data acquisition, creation and dissemination of shoreline management policies, and erosion crisis response.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

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