• Lis Richardson

Restored dune sand placement important

Published by Maui News 2/4/20

An important goal of UH Sea Grant is to keep all beach and dune sand within its own general cell area because sand within that cell is all part of the same system. In a dune nourishment project, dredged sand is often reintroduced back into its sand cell. All of the onshore and dune sand along with the wet beach sand works together as one unit. Within the Kama'ole Beaches area for example, sand from Kama'ole I will someday mix with sand from Kama'ole III. A sand nourishment project at Kama'ole I helps the entire Kama'ole sand-cell over time.

It might seem reasonable to think that reintroduced sand should be broadcast directly onto the wet beach area and not just stockpiled into sand dunes. However, the sand in that surf zone is in the active portion of this whole dynamic coastal process while dry dune sand is basically in storage. If you introduce sand right onto the beach, you play a card that Mother Nature may not have needed to play at that moment. UH Sea Grant makes the case that this card is not ours to play and is best left to nature. Additional dredged sand can be reintroduced into the system, but should not be put directly into play on the beach. Rather, allow the sand be used by nature as the need arises.

As volunteers we heed the advice and defer to UH Sea Grant because their advice is always current best-practice and that advice works.