Ha‘ena, December 2015. Photo by Ruby Pap
In my humble opinion, Kaua‘i has the most amazing beaches in the world. Besides their stunning natural beauty, beaches provide important natural and cultural resources. Forty seven percent of the island’s perimeter is made up of sand, more than any other Hawaiian island. These beaches provide essential habitat for wildlife and act as a buffer between land and sea. They are also the foundation of our recreational and cultural activities and are the major draw of our tourism economy.
Kaua‘i’s carbonate beach sand is derived from nearshore reefs. While it has never been dated here, based on radiocarbon dating on O‘ahu, it’s assumed our sand to be older than 1,500 years. The implication of this aged resource is that it is limited in quantity and should be carefully managed. Beach erosion is a growing concern.