Due to rising sea levels and the impacts of coastal development, sand replenishment projects in Waikīkī will be needed every five to ten years in order to maintain the beach.

2021 Waikīkī Beach Maintenance Project: Two-month follow up

There has been an average increase in dry beach width of 29.7 ft and an increase of dry beach area of 52,141 square feet. 

As of mid-July (~2 months following project completion) we found that the average beach width and area change were negligible compared to calculations for May 6 (30.7 ft/52,033 sqft). There was a change where the sand was distributed: The Ewa side of the beach grew by 20-40 ft, while the Diamondhead side lost about that much relative to the condition directly following project completion. This finding agrees with seasonal patterns of sediment transport that were reported in the 2016 paper. 

The 2016 Paper: The influence of seasonal patterns on a beach nourishment project in a complex reef environment

Next survey: September 2021

2021 Waikīkī Beach Improvement and Maintenance Program

The State Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing beach improvement and maintenance projects for the Fort DeRussy, Halekūlani , Royal Hawaiian, and Kūhiō  Beach sectors of Waikīkī. The project will include the construction of new beach stabilization structures, the recovery of off-shore sand, and its placement on the shoreline.  The objectives of the proposed actions are to restore and improve Waikīkī’s public beaches, to increase beach stability through the improvement and maintenance of shoreline structures, and to increase resilience to coastal hazards and sea level rise. 

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) for the program was published on June 8, 2021.   

A public scoping meeting on the EISPN was held on Thursday, January 7.  

The presentation is available to download.

Written comments on the draft EIS can be addressed to Sea Engineering at [email protected]

2021 Waikīkī Beach Maintenance Project

The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA). in close partnership with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), conducted a beach maintenance project for the Royal Hawaiian to Surfrider Moana beach area.  The goal of the Waikiki Beach Maintenance Phase II project was to restore and maintain the public beach between the Kuhio Beach Ewa Groin and the Royal Hawaiian Groin.  The project includes hydraulic dredging and pumping up to 20,000 cubic yards of marine sand from offshore Waikīkī as a follow up to the 2012 project which brought in 24,000 cubic yards to Waikīkī Beach.  The project started on January 26, and stockpiled 20,000 cubic yards of offshore sand, retrieved from shallow water about 1000-feet offshore.   The project should be completed in  May 2021.

Project flyer

Frequently asked questions

Waikīkī Beach Restoration

Since 1985 the Waikīkī shoreline has experienced significant beach loss due to long-term chronic erosion. The State has recognized that given the chronic erosion potential simply importing sand is not a permanent solution. There is a need to develop a program for regular beach maintenance using nearshore sand as a means for periodic beach nourishment. This “recycling” program offers a more efficient method for maintaining a recreational beach while mitigating some of the environmental effects of imported sand to the Waikīkī ecosystem over the past sixty-plus years.

from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo

Waikīkī Beach Maintenance Final Report (2012)
Royal Hawaiian Beach: Replenishment, Monitoring, and History of Engineering  (Interim Report, Year 1;  June 2013)
Kūhiō Beach Improvements: Summary of Beach History and Engineering Design (Lemmo and Eversole, DLNR, 2005)
Waikīkī: Historical Analysis of an Engineered Shoreline (Miller and Fletcher, Journal of Coastal Research, 2003)
Waikīkī: History of its transformation form a natural to an urban shore (Wiegel, Shore & Beach, 2008)
A Review of Innovative Sediment Delivery Systems (US Army Corps of Engineers, September 2012)