Famous Hawaiian beaches are disappearing

May 15, 2012 | Environment
Sunset Beach: in the future, ocean will prevail

An alarming study, released last week, reveals that 70 percent of beaches on Maui, Kauai and Oahu are experiencing long-term erosion.

The study says 85 percent of beaches on Maui are eroding, while more than 70 percent on Kauai are eroding. The study says 60 percent of Oahu's beaches are eroding. Scientists studied more than 150 miles of island coastline, and essentially every beach.

While a small percentage of beaches had built up or stayed roughly the same, the average rate of coastal change was 0.4 feet of erosion per year from the early 1900s to 2000s.

The new analysis, "National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change in the Hawaiian Islands," is the latest in a series of reports the geological survey has produced for the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, California and some of Alaska.

Source: Surfrider Foundation

  • A sun dog, or sundog, is a natural optical phenomenon consisting of one or two colored luminous spots appearing on either side of the Sun.
  • Every year, nonprofit environmental organization Heal the Bay assigns A-to-F letter grades to beaches along the California coast.
  • A heat wave, or heatwave, is a period of two or more consecutive days with apparent temperatures exceeding 105°F to 110°F (40°C to 43°C) on National Weather Service's Heat Index.
  • Have you ever wondered how a beach is formed? The formation of sand strips is a long process that involves minerals, water, wind, waves, and tides.