Hawaii & Alaska
PHOTO FROM THE HO‘ALA HONOKOWAI EISPN.

HI - Public scoping meeting slated for project to restore Honokowai Beach

A new project, Ho‘ala Honokowai, is proposed to restore and protect Honokowai Beach. According to the Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice for the project, Honokowai Beach was almost entirely eroded by an episodic erosion event in 2016, and the area experiences chronic erosion that is projected to accelerate.

WEST MAUI — A public scoping meeting for a proposed project to restore and preserve Honokowai Beach is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall.

Restoration could be accomplished by one of three methods: beach nourishment, beach maintenance, or beach nourishment with stabilizing structures.

An Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice for the project, titled Ho’ala Honokowai, is featured in the state Office of Planning and Sustainable Development’s Dec. 23, 2022, issue of “The Environmental Notice.”

Available via https://planning.hawaii.gov/erp/, the issue contains a link to the EIS Preparation Notice document.

According to the project summary, “The preferred method (of beach restoration) will be selected after completing studies for the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) and receiving public comments. The project title ‘Ho’ala Honokowai’ reflects the project’s primary objective of restoring this important natural and cultural resource for the West Maui community. Additional objectives are to preserve and enhance cultural and shoreline access, increase resilience to coastal hazards, and enable planning for long-term adaptation to sea level rise.

“Honokowai Beach is a dynamic shoreline that was almost entirely eroded by an episodic erosion event in 2016. That event caused a loss of approximately 5,600 square feet of land, structural damage, and degraded water quality and shoreline access. Honokowai Beach also experiences accelerating chronic erosion.”

West Maui Resort Partners, L.P., based in Orlando, Florida, is the applicant, and the approving agency is the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Comments for the EIS Preparation Notice are due by Jan. 23, 2023. Details on where to send them are posted in “The Environmental Notice.”

In related news, the latest issue of “The Environmental Notice” includes the publishing of the Draft Environmental Assessment (Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact) for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Villages of Leiali’i, Village 1-B, in Lahaina.

The summary explains: “The proposed action involves the development of the Villages of Leiali’i, Village 1-B Subdivision (Village 1-B), which will consist of a mix of single-family homes and multi-family units, for a maximum of 250 units. The new housing units will be made available to DHHL Native Hawaiian beneficiaries currently on the waitlist for a residential lease on Maui.

“Related offsite improvements include the development of two new retention basins and grading and development of interceptor ditches. Outlet drainage pipes in an existing offsite retention basin will be adjusted, and the retention basin will be enlarged. Improvements to Honoapi’ilani Highway and Leiali’i Parkway involve restriping and relocation of traffic signals at the Honoapi’ilani Highway and Leiali’i Parkway intersection, widening of Leiali’i Parkway from two lanes to four lanes and any other improvements needed to eventually license Leiali’i Parkway to the County of Maui.”

DHHL is the proposing/determining agency for the project. Comments on the Draft EA (AFNSI) are due by Jan. 23.

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