Photo credit: Karlee Eugenio

In 2017 North Shore Community Land Trust partnered with the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation, State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, World Surf League, University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, North Shore Outdoor Circle and community members to create a management plan for Paumalū (Sunset Beach Park) to help mitigate coastal erosion. The North Shore coastal dune system has not been adequately protected or effectively managed despite local sand abundance. Along this once pristine coast, the dunes have long ago been graded and developed with homes and parks. This has been to the detriment of the adjoining beach and associated habitat, which relies on this stored source of sand during times of episodic erosion. In addition, the grading of primary coastal dune also has increased the vulnerability of the residents to coastal hazards such as storm waves and erosion. Elsewhere the dune has been alternately developed, inappropriately landscaped, or altogether removed in random fashion based on localized development styles. The rapid increase in visitors to our islands is taking its toll on our beach parks.

In the summer of 2018, North Shore Community Land Trust along with our partners initiated the first phase of the long term beach management plan by out-planting 4,000 coastal native plants and developing designated beach access points to help mitigate erosion from foot traffic. While the winter surf season may impact the restoration efforts, the goal is to provide a rest and rebuilding period for the sand dunes during the summer to allow more sand to accumulate which will hopefully reduce erosion over time. Additionally, we have found that much of the erosion experienced at our beach parks is caused by foot traffic. By funneling users across designated beach access points, rather than across the sand in a haphazard fashion, we have seen decreased erosion along the bike path.

Photo credit: Rob Walker

Erosion prior to the dune restoration project in 2018.

Photo credit: Dolan Eversole
Photo credit: Alice Terry
Photo credit: Alice Terry
Photo credit: Karlee Eugenio

Volunteer at Paumalū

North Shore Community Land Trust has held volunteer workdays at Paumalū since summer 2018 to plant native coastal plants, build and maintain the repurposed ironwood fence and create specific beach access ways to reduce erosion caused by foot traffic. In 2020 we are continuing these efforts with volunteer workdays on the following Saturdays of summer months from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: June (6/20), July (7/25) and August (8/22). All workdays are subject to change due to COVID-19 crisis. Meet on the ma kai (ocean) side of Sunset Beach Park under the white North Shore Community Land Trust tent to sign a waiver before getting to work. Masks are required upon arrival and during all times we are not able to social distance at least 6 feet. We accept volunteers of all ages and experience levels. More information is below:

Stewardship Activities

  • Dune stabilization projects
  • Native plant out-planting
  • Fence construction and maintenance
  • Marine debris removal
  • Invasive species removal

What is Provided

  • Gloves
  • Hand tools (picks, shovels, rakes, loppers)

What to Bring

  • Face mask required upon arrival and during all times we are not able to social distance at least 6 feet from others not in your family group
  • At least 2 liters of water (we are not able to provide water refills due to COVID-19)
  • Reef-safe sun protection (we will be working on the beach with little shade)
  • Closed-toed shoes (recommended if working on fence construction but not required)
  • Gloves (optional, if you prefer to use your own)
  • Hand tools (optional, if you prefer to use your own)

For more information and to RSVP please contact Alice Terry, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, at Mahalo!

Photo credit: Doug Cole
Photo credit: Alice Terry
Photo credit: Doug Cole