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Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Winnipeg, Canada
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Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Heading to Kauai for the first time and looking at staying around Poipu Beach. However, I've heard that the beach suffered a fair amount of erosion in early 2013, and that the loss of the tombolo had lead to a strong rip current at the beach.

That being said, the most recent pieces of information I've found talk about a sand replenishment project that started in late December and is scheduled to finish in February 2014.

I'm curious what the actual current state of the beach is? Is the beach still safe to swim at? And as we'll be going there in August, is there any plan to have sand replenishment and erosion protection projects going on at this time?

Santa Rosa...
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1. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Hmmmm......... it seems to me that the heavy sand erosion and destruction of the tombolo and the problems along with that are a thing of the past. I was just thinking how nice it is that on my last few stays the tombolo is in much better shape and those nasty cross-currents resutling from the loss of the tombolo are more a thing of the past. Just spent 2 months there and the east side of the tombolo (vs. the snorkeling side) was a nice sandy-bottomed and calmer swimming area because the currents are no longer washing through this section as strongly as before. At one point not that long ago this section was all rocky with no areas of sand bottom. It's now a great spot for casual swimming since cross currents are no longer washing away the sand.

Sand replenishment project that took place beginning late December and ending in February? Funny, I don't remember seeing a major project happening at that time. Normally they don't choose the busiest time of year to do that. They normally wait for low seasons as it can cause beach closures. Unless they're able to do it in a very unobtrusive manner I don't recall seeing this happening at that time but the beach was just fine imo.

Edited: 19 April 2014, 17:53
St. Paul, MN
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2. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

It was a small scale project last December:

staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20131126_Sa…

Santa Rosa...
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3. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

The project of restoring sand at Poipu Beach is a constant ongoing one. Funds are always being raised for the next go-around because you can count on the beaches there to take a beating periodically. A big hat's off to the Poipu Beach Resort Association for this, funded by hotels and vacation condo complexes in Poipu, especially Suite Paradise which spearheads it and contributes greatly. It's doubtful the County could do it on their own.

Edited: 19 April 2014, 23:00
Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

We have not been to poipu beach park for a while, but as Napa says, last time we saw the Tombolo had been filled in with new sand, and folks were snorkeling without that strong current that used to race through there.

We saw loads of tourists walking out on the tombolo and checking out the view from the sandy and rocky area with zero problem. There were snorkelers on the right side of the tombolo, and also a few in the shallow left side as well as waders. keiki were playing with their parrents in the very shallow and protected area on the far left side.

The OP will be able to intantly see if the tombolo is still there and not been eroded again, and also check with the life guards. Also, if the current is a problem generally they will have signs posted.

Staying in poipu should not be a problem since the best snorkeling is just a couple minutes drive to Lawai Beach at the the Beach House......but, we have not heard of any problems at Poipu Beach Park. But, some folks here will have had more recent experience.

We loved booking with suite paradise at poipu kai resort for lots of years, and would do it again if we were still visitors. Also, there were times when the tombolo was eroded but we were still able to snorkel. Other imes it was more eroded, and the DANGER ..NO SWIMMING...STRONG CURRENT SIGNS were posted.

So, bbq'd at poipu beach park, but we snorkeled at lawai beach.

Edited: 20 April 2014, 01:36
Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Well, we made it out to Kauai. As of writing this, the tombolo does not quite exist; it is under maybe 4 feet of water. There are several strong current signs posted at the tip of where the tombolo would be... but the current connecting the left and right bays isn't too bad *as of yesterday*. It is there, but is fairly slow - children around 7-10 were playing there with no problems. It was quite easy to walk out to the point - waist to chest deep water.

That being said, it is definitely not a swimming pool either - if you're not paying attention you will slowly get pushed into the main rip in the right bay. It is easy to see how dynamic things in this area could be. It's not going to be safe to assume that it will be safe to swim tomorrow just because things were ok yesterday.

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Were you there right after the storms? The recent storms would have had the power to change the dynamics of Poipu Beach at least temporarily.

No, it's never safe to assume what the swimming conditions will be. We can only say what it was like the last time we were there. I was last there in June and the conditions were very nice. Just goes to show.

Buford, Georgia
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7. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/ocean_report/ mentions 3-5' south side waves. That seems pretty high for the south side. Was it high tide when you were there? If so, maybe you want to go back at low tide and see if the tombola is back. It was there in Feb., but the surf was usually around 1-3' at that time. We find it difficult to snorkel in 3-5' surf on the south side, but 3-6' at Kee and Tunnels isn't bad. At Kee and Tunnels (and Anini) there are large outer reefs to knock down the surf---not so at Poipu. Lawai has an outer reef, maybe it would be better with a 3-5' south shore surf.

Edited: 15 August 2014, 19:47
Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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8. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I go to an ocean swim class in front of the Marriott Waiohai at Po'ipu Beach twice a week - while I wasn't there last week, this week it was lovely with clear water and good conditions for swimming.

I am going to be there tomorrow morning as well - wonderful clear ocean water is the best thing in the world for you!

Malama Pono,

Janet

Winnipeg, Canada
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9. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

We are just leaving Po'ipu today - the tombolo was never out of the water the entire time we were here (8d). It was never a big deal though as the rip that goes parallel to shore was always there but never particularly powerful.

Surf was consistently about 3 feet for shorebreak and in the bays during wave sets. Between sets it was calmer. Once you got outside of the bay areas surf was easily hitting 6 feet during sets most days. This isn't that unusual for Po'ipu apparently - maximum wave heights in the south occur during the summer, unlike the north where max heights are in the winter.

Lot's of people still out swimming and snorkelling.

Mill Creek...
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10. Re: Poipu Beach Erosion and Restoration

We were in Poipu during the storms (July 30-Aug13). The tombolo was there before the storm, but gone after. Watching the beaches, waves, and currents change before our eyes reminded us how amazing Mother Nature is. The waves at Brenneckes were absolutely unbelievable one day. We watched 3 locals get brought in by lifeguards on jet skis. We use to get disappointed when the beaches and ocean conditions didn't look just like they did the year before, now we expect it.