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Proposed decade-long dredging project along Waimanalo coastline draws concern

Posted on May 3, 2023

Waimanalo residents are incensed over a proposed decade-long dredging project for the area’s coastline, saying they want to keep their beaches natural.

The dredging request was submitted to the DLNR by the Pahonu Beach Community Restoration Foundation, comprised of a collection of Waimanalo beachfront homeowners.

A letter from DLNR acknowledges the group’s application, stating that homeowners are looking to bring 10,000 cubic yards of offshore sand to the beach behind the homes.

On Saturday, community members protested along Kalanianaole Highway in Waimanalo against the proposal, saying the activity does not fit the community that has fought new development for years.

They are also concerned it could disrupt the area’s ecosystem and the natural flow of the sand.

“If you look to our neighboring communities, I mean they have all been messed with. Waimanalo hasn’t,” said Kukana Kama-Toth.

“I think that’s why we fight so hard for it, if it’s in the land or the ocean.”

A Pahonu Beach Community Restoration Foundation representative addressed community concerns at a recent neighborhood board meeting.

“Hopefully, that’s what we’re trying to avoid. I’m hoping not to negatively impact the ocean. We’ve got coral out there. We’ve got a great ecosystem. I think we need to be respectful of Iwi,” said John Dean, who says they want to have an open dialogue with the community about how the project can be done right.

According to the DLNR notice, the department is aware of community concern regarding the potential impacts of the proposed project and recommends the group consult with the community.

The application remains under review by DLNR. According to the letter, it will be evaluated for potential impact on the local ecosystem before a determination can be made.


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