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Sea Level Rise Triggering Widespread Coastal Hardening and Environmental Destruction on Hawaiian Shores

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Title:Sea Level Rise Triggering Widespread Coastal Hardening and Environmental Destruction on Hawaiian Shores
Authors:Tavares, Kammie-Dominique
Contributors:Fletcher, Charles (advisor)
Oceanography (department)
Global Environmental Science (department)
Keywords:sea level rise
coastal geology
Date Issued:2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Place of Publication:Honolulu
Abstract:In Hawaiʻi, protecting beach resources reinforces a high quality of life for
residents, is critical to its tourism-based economy, and preserves an important ecosystem
that is crucial for a number of endangered native species. However, narrowing and loss
due to shoreline hardening continues to threaten Hawaiian beaches. Additionally, as sea
level rise accelerates erosion, there may also be an acceleration of shoreline hardening
across the state. Thus, modeling future beach vulnerability to hardening provides
important data for developing resource management plans. We model future erosion for
0, 0.17, 0.32, 0.6, and 0.98 meters of sea level rise on the island of Oʻahu. Results show
sea level rise of only 0.32 m triggers a cascade of seawall applications and that after 0.98
m of sea level rise, 49% of the shoreline could potentially harden if widespread
hardening is allowed, risking sensitive beach resources. We conclude that current and
near-term sea level rise, not future sea level rise, poses the greatest threat to critical
habitat. We also conclude that existing coastal management does not effectively protect
beaches threatened with hardening, and there is an immediate need for new policy
Pages/Duration:58 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder:Tavares, Kammie-Dominique
Appears in Collections: Global Environmental Science (GES)

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