How important is it for Maui to start moving back from the rising sea level changes?
The best estimates of sea level change by 2100 is 1-2 meters total, which suggests about 0.4 to 0.9 inches rise per decade. Beaches are dynamic by nature. Coastal erosion can occur due to strong currents and high wave action, rising sea level and impacts by human alterations such as shoreline hardening and beach nourishment projects. The later can have a detrimental affect on nearby marine life as water clarity can decrease and sedimentation can increase if replacement sand is not analogous to existing grain size and quality.
The Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) Program is part of management plan meant to help ensure the preservation of beach and dune ecosystems around the country. Construction activities seaward of the control line must meet special siting and design criteria. The program has been very successful in Florida and Hawaii may initiate the program starting with Kailua Beach on Oahu. This is the first plan in Hawaii to take climate changes into consideration and may act as a template for other beaches in Hawaii. Retreating from the shoreline or forming wetland buffers are other approaches to adapt to coastal erosion.