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  

OCCL proposes to amend the Beach Restoration program to incorporate stronger best management practices, to include activities that are currently not well regulated (sand pushing and sand backpassing), to strengthen the requirements for community engagement and cultural impact assessments (i.e. a Ka Pa`akai Analysis), and to address issues relating to retreat and coastal restoration.

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.   

A discussion draft of the revised SSBR Program proposal is currently available for public review and comment.  This proposal is a discussion draft which incorporates input received by OCCL from stakeholders on the previous versions.  

Please send any questions or comments regarding this proposal to Amy Wirts at [email protected].


Current Small Scale Beach Nourishment projects

SSBN KA-19-3830  Kauai Kailani Condominiums, Kaua‘i

The project includes installation of a temporary sand bag groin structure and the placement of 1140 cubic yards of sand sourced from the Waipouli Drainage Canal.   There will be one initial placement of approximately 540 cubic yards, and then smaller placements over a 10-year period.

  • June 4, 2019: Permit approved
  • April, 2020:  First time extension to commence work approved.
  • June 4, 2021:  Second time extension to commence work approved.
  • April 23, 2022:  Third time extension to commence work approved.
  • January 2023: Notice of intent to commence work.
  • April 18, 2023:  sandbag groin construction and initial sand placement complete.

SSBN OA-23-02
Waimānalo, O‘ahu – application withdrawn pending further community consultation.

The Pāhonu Beach Community Restoration Foundation proposes to place up to approximately 10,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand on the shoreline fronting eight residential properties in Waimānalo, O‘ahu.  The proposal involves the initial placement of 5000 cubic yards of sand an the placement of five 73-foot long concrete “reef finger” groins to stabilize the beach.  This will be followed by two future nourishments of up to 2500 cubic yards each over a ten year period. These will occur if the sand volume erodes over 50%.

Recently Completed Small Scale Beach Nourishment Projects

SSBN HA-23-01 Kona Village Resort, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i

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 be sent to Amy Wirts at [email protected]

SSBN MA-15-02 Sugar Cove, Maui

Sugar Cove AOAO received approval for a Category II Small Scale Beach Nourishment (SSBN) project to restore Sugar Cove Beach in Spreckelsville, Maui through a 10-year adaptive beach maintenance plan using up to 8,000 cubic yards of sand in 2015. 

  • July 6, 2015:  SSBN MA-15-02 permit approved.
  • Nov, 2015:  Sand Placement #1 completed – 892 cubic yards placed on the beach.
  • Nov, 2015:  Initial Placement Report received by OCCL. 
  • April 20, 2016:  Maintenance Request submitted.
  • Sep 6-7, 2016:  Sand Placement #2 complete – 1,115 cubic yards placed on the beach.
  • May 9, 2017: Maintenance Request submitted.  Maintenance was not completed in 2017 due to issues with the sand source.
  • July, 2018:  Interim Maintenance Report submitted.  
  • Sep 15, 2020:  Sand Placement #3 completed – 740 cubic yards placed on the beach.
  • Sep 28, 2021:  Sand Placement #4 completed – 1,111 cubic yards placed on the beach.
  • July 5, 2023:  Updated Maintenance Report submitted.
  • July 5, 2023:  Maintenance Request submitted. 
  • Aug 14, 2023:  OCCL approval of Sand Placement #5.