Maui News

Enhancing Coastal Resilience in West Maui

July 31, 2017, 10:23 AM HST
* Updated July 31, 10:28 AM
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The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System or PacIOOS, was selected to receive $500,000 from NOAA’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program to develop a high-resolution, real-time wave run-up forecast and notification system for West Maui.

Sandbag barrier in Kahana where condominium properties are threatened by erosion and high waves. Credit: Tara Owens via PacIOOS.

In addition, future inundation scenarios will be prepared, taking rising sea levels and increasing wave energy into consideration.

For these short- and long-term forecasts, West Maui’s coastline will be divided into about a dozen segments to account for site-specific differences along the shoreline. Scientists say this innovative approach will help to better understand differing risks and vulnerabilities along the coastline, and thereby enhance preparedness, response operations, land-use planning, and policy-making.

The 3-year program is expected to begin in October 2017.

Project partners include the Department of Oceanography at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, County of Maui, and State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.


NOAA’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program received 167 proposals in 2017 and provides $13.8M funding to 19 projects nationwide.

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