Ka’anapali Beach Nourishment Bill Unanimously Clears House Floor
By Wendy Osher
The House of Representatives yesterday unanimously advanced a beach nourishment bill for Ka’anapali.
The measure appropriates an unspecified amount of funds for an environmental impact statement associated with the planned beach nourishment project.
Although Ka’anapali Beach was recently named the best beach in the nation by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, and “millions” of TripAdvisor travelers, lawmakers say it has experienced severe and chronic erosion that has degraded sections of the beach and damaged shoreline infrastructure and amenities.
The bill states that no funds will be expended unless matched dollar-for-dollar with private funds, with the cost of the EIS estimated at $800,000. Lawmakers who support the measure say Ka’anapali Operations Association has reportedly committed to providing $400,000, and is seeking matching state funding.
HB378 HD1 calls for the project to be conducted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources with the support of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Ka’anapali Operations Association in a partnership similar to the collaborative efforts demonstrated during the Waikiki Beach maintenance project completed last year.
“Restoring Ka’anapali Beach is essential to preserving this vital environmental, recreational and cultural resource for our locals and visitors alike,” said Representative Angus McKelvey of West Maui, who introduced the bill.
“We need to proactively look at environmentally-friendly options to protect and preserve the beach before the situation becomes so severe that structures are threatened and revetments, seawalls and other emergency measures are the only options available.”