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A view of one part of Wakiki Beach with a walkway, beach, swimmers, buildings, and Diamond Head all in view.
Waikīkī Beach and surroundings are an economic driver for Hawaiʻi, pulling millions of tourists every year to enjoy its blue waters and white sands.

Flood Hazard and Sea Level Rise Mitigation Standards Incorporated into Updated Waikiki Guidelines


Relevance: The urgent regional need to address sea level rise is evident in The Hawai’i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Resport’s predicted predicted $19 billion in loss of land and structures
and the Ola Oʻahu Resilience Strategy action #14 “Establish Future Conditions Climate Resilience Design Guidelines.”

Response: The Waikiki Special District Guidelines’ update will incorporate national and international flood hazard mitigation and sea level rise adaptation design and development standards by directly incorporating elements of the design brief developed in a new UH course as part of a funded research project. The Sea Grant Hawai‘i Sea Grant Waikiki Beach Management Coordinator authored portions of the design brief and facilitated its incorporation into the updated guidelines.

Results: The updated guidelines will result in future development that is better prepared for and able to recover from flooding that is anticipated to increase in frequency and severity. In addition, eleven students and two graduate research assistants learned cutting-edge flood adaptation information, resulting in a prepared workforce.