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On Hawaii 1-15-2022: Waikiki Beach could disappear by the end of the century. It's not the only one.

SF Gate logo SF Gate 1/14/2022 Hearst Newspapers
Beachgoers relax near a construction site where a backhoe dumps sand pumped from the ocean, onto Kuhio Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, in Honolulu.  © MARCO GARCIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Beachgoers relax near a construction site where a backhoe dumps sand pumped from the ocean, onto Kuhio Beach, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, in Honolulu. 

Aloha,

For the past decade or so, I’ve seen the changes firsthand to Hawaii’s shoreline — and not just in Waikiki. My home beach on the west side of Oahu is wrecked, unrecognizable from the days I frequented it as a kid. The North Shore is battling erosion like I’ve never seen before; some homes are barely surviving, and they are not alone.

In the beginning, I shrugged my shoulders, as most people probably would, but it’s become evident through the years that things are not getting better. This is what prompted me to dive into the issue of how climate change is affecting Hawaii’s beaches. 

What I’ve learned is heartbreaking, to say the least. 

Please read to the end, as Kekai Keahi has some inspiring words from a Hawaiian perspective on how to look at nature and the changes that may come, whether you’re in agreement with the timeline or not.

A hui hou,

Christine Hitt


Video: This Remote Hawaiian Island Is a Nature Lover's Paradise With Excellent Snorkeling, Waterfalls, and Fresh Seafood (Travel + Leisure)

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Hawaii editor

Hawaii’s famed Waikiki Beach could disappear by the end of the century. It’s not the only one.

Waikiki Beach is often where visitors first fall in love with Hawaii. Its soft sand, calm and inviting waters and view of Leahi (aka Diamond Head) are known worldwide. Once home to Hawaiian royalty, Waikiki is now a popular tourist destination, generating 41% of the state’s tourism revenue in 2015.

But climate change threatens the iconic beach. With global sea levels estimated to rise at least 3 feet by 2100, Waikiki Beach may not be around at the turn of the century. Some scientists think Waikiki Beach could disappear even sooner. Read more.

More stories:

Hawaii lifeguard blasts tourists for attempting to surf deadly waves. “Lifeguard tells you f—ing not to go out, you don’t f-–ing question it.” Read more.

How The Rock, Ludacris and Bob Saget helped this Maui bakery rise to cookie stardom. The Maui Cookie Lady is producing some of the nation’s most desired cookies. Read more.

Virus hospitalizations rise in Hawaii as omicron spreads. The state saw 331 patients in its hospitals Wednesday. Read more.

On Hawaii is curated by Hawaii editor Christine Hitt. You can contact her at Christine.Hitt@sfgate.com.

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