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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has signed two bills creating a special improvement district in Waikiki to require commercial property owners to subsidize the restoration of the eroded beach.

“Waikiki is known around the world for its legendary sun, surf, and sand,” the mayor said in a press release. “By supporting these bills to provide funding for beach replenishment, the visitor industry has stepped up to help keep iconic Waikiki Beach sandy and enjoyable for years to come.”

Hawaii’s most famous beach has had erosion problems since the late-1800s when developers began erecting hotels and homes too close to the natural shoreline.

Oahu has lost one-fourth of its beaches and of those remaining, about 70 percent are eroding, largely due to the city’s pattern of continuing to approve seawalls.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs to bills that will help fund Waikiki Beach restoration.

Courtesy of the City & County of Honolulu

Most recently, the city allowed the billionaire chairman of South Korea’s Samsung Group to build two seawalls along his properties in Kahala where much of the once-sandy beach disappears in high tide.

The Waikiki special improvement district’s first-year budget is $605,000. Read Bill 81 and Bill 82 to learn more details.

Click on the interactive below to learn more about Oahu’s vanishing beaches, or read reporter Sophie Cocke’s story,”Oahu Faces a Future With Far Fewer Beaches“:

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