Lanikai

Shaunna won’t be here until later in the week, so our project will get into full swing next week. I’ll write more about our research then…

In the meantime, it’s a long weekend and I’m in Hawaii so that means it’s time to go to the beach. Today we went to my favorite on Oahu – Lanikai. This is a great example of the quintessential tropical beach complete with white(ish) sands and turquoise blue water. It’s found on the windward side of the island, just around the corner from Kailua. There are some interesting patch reefs just offshore with several species of algae, coral, and fish, and usually at least one green sea turtle wandering around. The sad part about Lanikai is that it’s steadily loosing that beautiful powdery sand. There are many fancy homes lining the shoreline in this area and there are large stretches of seawalls that have been built to protect these homes from crashing waves. The problem with seawalls is the same here as it is in the Long Island Sound – they contribute to loss of sand/sediment and therefore to loss of the beach. You can see this happening at Lanikai – there is little to no beach next to the seawall, while other areas have enough sand for the beach-goers to squish together and vie for prime waterfront sun spots. Put quite simply, beaches form when waves slow down and deposit sand; however, seawalls prevent waves from slowing down and instead the waves crash against the wall and return to the ocean, carrying any sand that might be left away with them.

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  1. Nice beach and nice water…. a good way to reast a bit before the research begins.