State of the Beach/State Reports/HI/Beach Description

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Hawaii Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access87
Water Quality76
Beach Erosion9-
Erosion Response-6
Beach Fill5-
Shoreline Structures5 3
Beach Ecology4-
Surfing Areas108
Coastal Development{{{19}}}{{{20}}}
Sea Level Rise{{{21}}}{{{22}}}


With 230 miles of beach (56 miles of it sandy, 24 of that accessible and swimmable; 2 underwater parks; and over 1,600 recognized surf spots), no other state is as closely associated with the Pacific Ocean.

Contact Info for the Lead Coastal Zone Management Agency

Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program
P.O. Box 2359
Honolulu, Hawaii 96804
Phone: 808-587-2846 / Fax: 808-587-2899

Outer Islands - Call CZM at these toll free numbers:

  • Lanai & Molokai: 468-4644 x7-2846
  • Kauai: 274-3141 x7-2846
  • Maui: 984-2400 x7-2846
  • Hawaii: 974-4000 x7-2846

Or stop by the CZM office at:

Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program
235 South Beretania Street
Leiopapa A Kamehameha Building
Suite 600
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Coastal Zone Management Program

With no point in Hawaii more than 29 miles from the shore, almost any activity that occurs inland will impact Hawaii's coastal and ocean resources. Hawaii's coastal program balances the needs for economic growth, a clean environment on which that growth depends, and a vibrant local culture that reflects Hawaii's uniqueness. Tourism is the state's primary industry.

Unlike single-purpose programs, the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program focuses its work on the complex resource management problems of coastal areas - the part of the State that is under the highest stress. Within a framework of cooperation among federal, state and local levels, the Hawaii CZM Program employs a wide variety of regulatory and non-regulatory techniques to address coastal issues and uphold environmental law. Among them are stewardship, planning, permitting, education and outreach, technical assistance to local governments and permit applicants, policy development and implementation, and identification of emerging issues and exploration of solutions.

Hawaii's CZM program recognizes the need for a sustainable balance. Here's a discussion of how coastal management worked in the past in Hawaii. Maybe a model for the future?

Hawaii CZM's (Office of Planning) 2016 Annual Report.

The Section 309 Enhancement Area Grant Program FY 2016-2020 Assessment and Strategy (May 2015) is submitted to the federal office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as the qualifying basis for Section 309 Enhancement Grants.

NOAA's latest evaluation of Hawaii's Coastal Management Program can be found here.


  1. Bernd-Cohen, T. and M. Gordon. "State Coastal Program Effectiveness in Protecting Natural Beaches, Dunes, Bluffs, and Rock Shores." Coastal Management 27:187-217. 1999.
  2. Bernd-Cohen, T. and M. Gordon. "State Coastal Program Effectiveness in Protecting Natural Beaches, Dunes, Bluffs, and Rock Shores." Coastal Management 27:187-217. 1999.

State of the Beach Report: Hawaii
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