On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan created a tsunami that made its way to the Big Island of Hawaii. This incident damaged parts of the Big Island including A’naehoomalu Bay, A’Bay. This is a stretch of beach directly fronting the Kolea Resort and the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. The damaged area is directly in front of the Marriott. The missing section separated the ocean from the Ku’ualii Fish Ponds, a place of great historical significance to the Hawaiian people.
The concern is that the water is pushing sand into the fish pond, which could cause a loss in sand volume and collapse permanently, making future restoration impossible. This would make a temporary coastline change into something long term.
Sea Engineering, Inc received the proper permits and a temporary solution was created. On July 28th, bulldozers were brought in to repair the area with sand-filled geo-textile tubes. These devices will not allow the force of the tides and ocean currents to continue to dismantle the beach area. The project creating this temporary barrier was completed as of August 3rd, 2011.
The crews worked quickly to ensure residents and visitors were impacted as little as possible knowing this was an extremely important project, not only securing the beach area but the historical fish ponds behind it.
The final stage of the permanent repairs are currently being discussed and will completed at some point in the future. As part of the permanent repairs, the addition of Makahas, or gates is being explored. This will give the fish ponds greater circulation to ensure the longevity of this historical landmark.
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