KAANAPALI - The State House of Representatives last week passed HB378 HD1 through to the Senate. The measure appropriates an unspecified amount of funds for an Environmental Impact Statement associated with the planned beach nourishment project at Kaanapali Beach.
The bill states that no funds will be expended unless matched dollar-for-dollar with private funds.
According to the state, Kaanapali Beach has experienced severe and chronic erosion that has degraded sections of the beach and damaged shoreline infrastructure and amenities.
Kaanapali Beach was recently named “America’s Best Beach” by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, the nation’s foremost beach expert.
The cost of the EIS associated with the planned beach nourishment project is estimated at $800,000.
The Kaanapali Operations Association has committed to providing $400,000 and seeks matching state funding.
The bill 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 Kaanapali Operations Association in a partnership similar to the collaborative efforts demonstrated during the Waikiki Beach maintenance project completed last year.
"Restoring Kaanapali Beach is essential to preserving this vital environmental, recreational and cultural resource for our locals and visitors alike," said Rep. Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei), 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."