Hawaii & Alaska
Cindy Ellen Russel/Honolulu Star-Advertiser

HI - Some Hawaii Homeowners Damage Beaches to Protect Their Homes. A New Law Could Help Change That

Our investigation found property owners were routinely demanding record prices for beachfront homes in Hawaii that are at risk of being sucked into the ocean. Legislators will now require those sellers to disclose the risks to buyers.

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This article was produced in partnership with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which was a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network in 2020.

Property owners selling homes, hotels, condos and businesses along Hawaii’s coastlines must disclose whether the properties are susceptible to damage from sea level rise under legislation that’s set to take effect next May.

While the risks of building and maintaining property along the state’s shorelines have been evident for decades, state lawmakers passed the measure this year to make sure that prospective buyers are fully aware of those risks, which will only increase as the state’s coastlines are increasingly battered by flooding and stronger storms.

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