Kuhio Beach in Waikiki named one of America’s Best Restored Beaches

UH coastal geologist spearheaded project in 2006

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 19, 2008

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced today that Kuhio Beach in Waikiki is a winner of its 2008 Best Restored Beach Award.

"ASBPA created the Best Restored Beach award in 2001 as a way of highlighting the value of America‘s restored beaches," said Harry Simmons, ASBPA president. "As Americans flock to our coastline during the upcoming beach season, most don‘t even realize they may be enjoying a restored beach."

By restoring Kuhio Beach in Waikiki, which is world-renowned for its expanse of white sand and turquoise water, it served as a unique opportunity to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of "recycling" eroded sand as well as restoring a high-value recreational beach for both local residents and tourists alike.

Dolan Eversole, University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program Coastal Geologist, spearheaded this project beginning in December 2006. The $475,000 pilot project dredged 10,000 cubic yards of sand from 2,000 feet offshore to three sites on Kuhio Beach. The sand, which had eroded due to wave action along the coast, enlarged the beach by as much as 40 feet and inflated it two-four feet vertically, keeping the beach dry in areas previously inundated with water. In addition, the project proved to be very cost-effective, cutting in half the cost of the old method of trucking sand in from elsewhere. It had no negative environmental consequences and, in the long-run, will likely prove to facilitate coral reefs ecosystem restoration in nearshore areas previously smothered by the eroded sand.

"The Kuhio Beach restoration project continues to serve as a successful demonstration of the local technical capability, cost effectiveness and environmental soundness of using offshore sediment for local beach restoration" said Eversole. "While it was never intended to provide a long-term solution to the local erosion problem in Waikiki, it has served its purpose as a pilot project and stimulated consideration of utilizing recycling eroded beach sands from offshore back to their respective littoral systems."

Other beaches honored this year include: the beaches of Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA; Ocean Isle Beach, NC; North Boca Raton, FL; Destin & Walton County, FL; and Venice Beach, FL.

Past award winners include: Panama City Beach, FL, in 2002; San Diego Beach in 2003; Ocean City, MD, in 2004; the beaches of South Padre Island, TX, in 2005; Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches in Delaware in 2006; and the Chaland Headland Restoration Project, LA in 2007.

For more information, visit: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/SEAGRANT