One of the key objectives of The National Ocean Policy is to “strengthen resiliency of ocean communities and marine environments…and their abilities to adapt to climate change impacts and ocean acidification.” Disaster avoidance measures would include institutional and governmental measures to reduce risks from coastal hazards.
Benchmark - Where we are now
  • The importance of managing coastal hazards is magnified as more is learned about the effects of climate change, and in particular, sea level rise. Sea level rise will affect all the islands and will impact areas already developed. While the immediacy of this occurrence is not within the next five years, some effect can already be seen and measured. The challenge of identifying and implementing adaptation measures indicated that work needs to begin now.
  • The Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP) Coordinated Working Group in collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP) prepared the Framework for Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai‘i (2009).
  • Shoreline erosion studies have been completed for Kauaʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu but need to be updated as new information becomes available.
  • The Office of Planning (OP), in consultation with the ORMP Policy Group (the Council on Ocean Resources), and other stakeholders, successfully passed Act 286 (2012), Hawai‘i's climate change adaptation priority guidelines. The Act is codified as Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) Section 226-109, so that it is integrated into Hawaiʻi's statewide planning and land use system.

Target – Where we want to be
  • Build Capacity . Develop best management practices and guidance that integrate HRS Section 226-109, Climate Change Adaptation Priority Guidelines, into county and state decision-making.
  • Additional information on the science and mapping of sea level rise exists and complete sea level rise maps, shoreline erosion studies, and erosion risk maps are completed for every island.
  • A comprehensive and integrated shoreline policy is adopted that addresses the impacts of chronic and episodic coastal hazards. This may or may not involve new or amended state law.
  • Adaptation strategies are identified , which may include retreat zones, prohibition of shoreline armoring, and assessment of impacts on underground infrastructure and utilities.

Increase in number of climate change adaptation training sessions

2,132 participants have attended climate change adaptation training sessions since the beginning of 2012.
Training Sessions
35 climate change adaptation training sessions have been held since the beginning of 2012.
Agency: Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program
Image: Getty Images

Increase in number of state departments adopting climate change adaptation strategies in their maintenance plans and capital improvement program plans

(Data coming soon)
Agency: Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program

Title Image: NOAA