Hawaii & Alaska
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

HI - State's beach restoration program sparks concerns

Testifiers worry about impacts of streamlined permitting process

Maui residents are drawing a line in the sand over a proposal to streamline a statewide permitting process for small-scale beach restoration work.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources during a meeting on Friday voted 5-2 — with board members Doreen Canto of Maui and Wesley “Kaiwi” Yoon of Oahu dissenting — to approve an amended state plan to expand, revise and streamline a complex permitting process to do shoreline restoration work on coastlines statewide.

Overseen by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, the permitting plan would expand an existing Small-Scale Beach Nourishment program to allow private homeowner associations, individual landowners and government agencies the option to get federal and state approvals through a single application.

The Small-Scale Beach Nourishment program would be tiered from Categories I (up to 500 cubic yards of sand), II (up to 10,000 cubic yards) and III (up to 25,000 cubic yards). The program would not be related to sandbag revetments, but sandbag groins may be considered.

“A programmatic goal is to provide an incentive for oceanfront property owners to seriously consider beach nourishment as an alternative to coastal armoring, which can be achieved through small-scale beach restoration project permit streamlining,” state documents said.

Read also: Opposers push back against Hawaii beach restoration program  Yahoo! Voices

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