A just-released U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report on the coastal hazards of Hawaii supports that adage. The report, “Atlas of Natural Hazards in the Hawaiian Coastal Zone,” should allow Hawaiian citizens and regulatory authorities to better understand the relative intensity of coastal hazards in the state and their effects on the natural environment and property. It will help planners and managers effectively guide the future of coastal land use and planning, said Dr. Bruce Richmond, a USGS scientist and one of the co-authors of the report.
The report, prepared in cooperation with the University of Hawaii, State of Hawaii Office of Planning, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was co-authored by Richmond, C.H. Fletcher, a professor at the University of Hawaii; and E.E. Grossman and A.E. Gibbs, both of the USGS.
The report investigates the history and characteristics of seven potentially hazardous threats to coastal areas of the Hawaiian Islands:
coastal erosion, sea-level rise, major storms, volcanic and seismic activity, tsunami inundation, coastal stream flooding, and extreme seasonal high wave events. Richmond noted that the most unique aspect of the report is that it assimilates previous efforts to document Hawaiian coastal hazards and combines this information into a single comprehensive coastal hazard data set that is easy to use.