Beach Nourishment and Restoration

Beach Restoration: Current Rules

Pursuant to Hawai`i Administrative Rules Section 13-5-22, P-16, “Beach Restoration,” a Departmental Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) is required for:

Sand placement not to exceed 10,000 cubic yards per occasion, with minor sand retention structures, extraction of sand from submerged lands, and transportation or transmission of sand from an offshore extraction site to the replenishment site.

In 2000 the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the Small Scale Beach Nourishment (SSBN) program, which provided guidelines for Category I (under 500 cubic yards) and Category II (500 to 10,000 cubic yards) projects.  


On July 1, 2021, the Governor of the State of Hawai`i approved Act 162,  which amended Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 342D as follows:

The Department [of Health] shall not require a water quality certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act under this chapter for any applicant of the small-scale beach restoration program that has received notice of authorization to proceed from the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s’ Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands. 

Note: Sand restoration and placement over 10,000 cubic yards in one littoral cell in one calendar year is not covered by the Small Scale Beach Nourishment program, and will require a permit from the full Board of Land and Natural Resources.  


Beach Restoration: Proposed  

On July 23, 2020 a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued for an updated  Small-Scale Beach Restoration Program (SSBR).

OCCL presented the updated SSBR program to the BLNR for approval on July 9, 2021.  The Board received two petitions for a contested case hearing, one from Nā Pāpaʻi Wāwae ʻUlaʻula and one from Mālama Kuaʻāina.   

The implementation of the updated program is on hold pending the outcome of the contested case petitions.   

The Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands is currently exploring revisions to the proposed program in order to address the concerns of the petitioners.   We intend to develop a new Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) for the program, and to take it out for public comment soon.  See Small Scale Beach Restoration Permitting Program Proposal.


Current Small Scale Beach Restoration projects

SSBN HA-23-01 Kona Village Resort, Kailua-Kona, HI 

Kona Village Resort proposes to place up to 740 cubic yards of beach quality sand on the shoreline as part of a beach nourishment project located seaward of the subject property at Kona Villages Resort. The project would utilize sand that originated on the beach and was displaced mauka of the shoreline by the 2011 Tohuku tsunami. The tsunami wave pushed a potion of the dry beach sand mauka, removing the sediment from the active littoral cell and exposing underlying beach rock which was previously buried. The proposed project will consist of transport of the stockpiled sand from a location on the subject property and placement on the beach above the mean high water mark.  Comments can sent to Amy Wirts at [email protected]