Rep. Thielen’s Legislation Aims to Protect Kailua Shoreline

KHON By Brianne Randle

Story Updated: Jan 25, 2009 at 4:03 PM HST

It was once America’s best beach – now erosion has taken Kailua’s shoreline out of the running. Literally digging away at the sand, creating a five foot drop-off. Slowly working it’s way up the coast.

“Erosion is starting at the south end by the boat ramp, we don’t want this to turn into another Lanikai,” says Cynthia Thielen, Kailua, Kaneohe Representative.

Thielen has represented the Windward district since the 90’s. She says erosion along Kailua is bad and getting worse – unless action is taken Hawaii will loose one of it’s world class treasures.

“This is a resource, I mean look at this, this is just glorious.”

And she wants to keep it that way. Thielen is proposing a new bill that aims to protect this resource for the next two years. Establishing an interim coastal construction line.

“So we have a short term measure that says you can’t build any further makai, toward the water, than your house is located now.”

Putting a two year stop to new beachfront construction.

“I think the houses are too close now, look at this one now. I was watching this one come up and I thought this one was too close,” says beach-goer Gail Fugimoto. “I’m all for it yeah.”

“It’s to keep the status quo, for the two year period to allow the Department of Natural Resources to see what needs to be done on a more permanent basis,” says Thielen.

Government agencies could then assess and adopt new rules determining shoreline setback. Keeping homeowners from building out onto dunes.

“This is what Hawaii’s all about the beaches, we have to protect them,” says beach-goer Richard Perez.

“This is where pres Obama and his family vacation, two times here, we want to keep the beach here and want to welcome them back,” says Thielen.

The cost to fund the bill would be minimal. Thielen says agencies are already in the process of creating strategies to manage erosion across the state. This measure will help put those ideas to work in Kailua

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