Hoteliers Announce Plan To Alter Waikiki's 'Unnatural' Beach

<p>Plans to expand the amount of beach available in front of two hotels in Honolulu are meeting opposition from local surfers and environmentalists. But some say the beach has already been engineered beyond its natural state and more won't hurt.</p>
September 23, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Beach advocates are "taking a stand against a proposal by Kyo-Ya Hotels & Resorts to install T-shaped rock groins along the beach fronting the Sheraton Waikiki."

"Although still preliminary -- it would require approvals from the state as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- Kyo-Ya has commissioned Sea Engineering Inc. to work on the proposal."

"The proposed Gray's Beach restoration project in Waikiki, as written up by Sea Engineering, would construct three T-head groins spanning 500 feet of shoreline, extending 160 feet from the existing seawall."

"Sand taken from offshore would be placed between the groins, adding more beach in front of both the Sheraton Waikiki and the Halekulani Hotel."

"Chip Fletcher, a professor and chair of the geology and geophysics department at the University of Hawaii, said he supports the T-groin proposal."

"'The Waikiki shoreline is not a natural shoreline any more,' said Fletcher. 'We have engineered it into its present configuration. But if we're going to maintain it as a usable resource, we need to employ engineering tools.'"

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Published on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 in Honolulu Star-Bulletin
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