With beach erosion a growing problem, experts have been closely watching a Waikiki Beach mediation project — and so far the results are positive.
A year ago, crews installed a 100-by-12 foot sand-filled mattress as an emergency measure to stabilize the shoreline.
It’s no silver bullet. But …
“It doesn’t magically solve the erosion, but it simply keeps the dirt fill in place.”
City officials said there was a minor problem in August caused by a south swell that coincided with the king tides.
“Waves overtopped the entirety of that area of Waikiki Beach by the hula mound, and there was some slumping as water went behind the mattress and sucked out some of the sand,” said Matthew Gonser, the coastal and water program manager for the city’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency.
As a temporary fix, crews added sandbags, which are now almost completely buried with the shift in seasons.
“There’s a lot of seasonal variability. That’s why it’s important to do the monitoring and maintenance now, in the quieter, calmer period so that we can get prepared for another investigation, as the south shore swells come back into the summer,” Gonser said.
Experts said without the mattress, the area would look a lot different.
“Almost certainly, the shoreline would have moved landward. How far landward, it’s hard to say, but I would estimate between 10 and 20 feet more landward,” said Eversole.
The Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association donated $3,000 to the city for the cost of the mattress.
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