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DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Diamond Head beach “reappears” after shoreline vegetation work

Posted on Oct 26, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

(HONOLULU) – A beautiful stretch of beach at the base of iconic Diamond Head, in the area known as Cromwells, has reappeared from beneath a jungle of naupaka and beach heliotrop.  Property owners, who have homes on the shoreline, received letters from the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) asking them to cut back vegetation that encroached onto the public beach from their properties.

OCCL Administrator Sam Lemmo recently toured the beach and said, “As you can see, people here are cooperating and have agreed to remove the vegetation in front of the walls  and so the beach as a whole is much improved.  The folks at Diamond Head have been good stewards of the beach over the past two years when a state law went into effect that requires beach front landowners to maintain vegetation that encroaches upon the beach to keep it from reducing or restricting lateral shoreline access. We have this example in the Diamond Head area, at Haena on Kauai, in the Kahala area and improvements throughout East Oahu.”

Hawaii has more than 700 miles of public shoreline and the OCCL staff is not large enough to monitor every mile.  They focus on areas where there are popular beaches and areas that have been the subject of complaints from beach and ocean users.  100 property owners in East Oahu, from Cromwells to Portlock, received compliance letters several months ago and Lemmo added, “Compliance is looking really good and we’re planning follow-up site inspections in November to get a better feel for how many owners have cleared encroaching vegetation from the beach public right-of-way.  For those who haven’t, we will notify them again and remind them they need to comply.”

In the initial round of letters, property owners received specific instructions about what and how much vegetation they needed to cut back.  They can then show compliance by submitting “after” photographs to OCCL.  Staff will then verify that the work was accomplished.  Lemmo concluded, “I’m getting comments that people are very happy with the newly cleared lateral beach access and that’s prompting inquiries from across the state.  I think this is a successful approach toward addressing an issue and we will continue enforcing the shoreline vegetation rules.”


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HD Video of cleared beach and Sam Lemmo SOTS (transcription attached)

Video Courtesy: Hawaii DLNR


Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

Senior Communications Manager

Office of the Chairperson-Communications Office

1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131

Honolulu, HI 96813

(808) 587-0407

[email protected]