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On a typical Saturday, surfers precariously scale a seawall at Kewalo Basin and propel themselves into the ocean, sunbathers squeeze onto a narrow ribbon of sand along Kahala Beach that only exists at low tide, and tourists pack a shrinking plot of sand fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki held in place only by an artificial groin.
Oahu has lost one-fourth of its beaches and of those remaining, about 70 percent are eroding. If state and county officials don’t start working to conserve what’s left of the sandy shoreline, most of the island’s beaches could disappear by the end of the century, say scientists.
“I think by mid-century we are looking at a future where we are down to just a handful of healthy beaches and by the end of the century those will be disappearing, or gone already,” said Chip Fletcher, a coastal geologist and associate dean at the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science Technology, who is one of the state’s leading experts on beach erosion.
Slide the red button at the the bottom left of the photo to watch the disappearance of Lanikai Beach between 1967 and the present. The 1967 photo is from the city’s archives; Civil Beat used a drone to photograph the same exact location 48 years later.
One reporter-host stumbles on a mouflon sheep above Pearl City.
Hotel seeking more modest expansion on Oahu’s North Shore.
UPDATED Results from EPA lab test show radioactive levels in Honolulu not harmful.
2010 Census data also shows Hawaii, Maui, Kauai Counties grew faster than Oahu.
Thankful to live in Hawaii? As the nation celebrates holiday, we thought it would be a good time to publish stories of aloha from readers.