06 • 17 • 2020
Protect ‘Ewa Beach
Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter is demanding the Marine Corps conduct a thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the human and environmental impacts of a 1,500 foot shoreline barrier along 'Ewa Beach.
In 2019, the US Marine Corps (USMC) proposed building a 1,500 foot steel shoreline barrier along the Puʻuloa Range Training Facility (PRTF) at 'Ewa Beach and adjacent to Pu'uloa Beach Park. PRTF is a firing range used by the USMC for training purposes. The USMC maintains that the 1,500 foot wall is needed to mitigate coastal erosion and protect the firing range. In March 2020, the US Marine Corps conducted an Environmental Assessment (EA) and determined that the project would not have significant environmental impacts. Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter, local government agencies, and community members, however, are concerned about the project's potential impacts on nearshore coral reefs, surf spots, and accelerating coastal erosion.
In a June 17, 2020 letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Surfrider Foundation Oʻahu cited numerous shortcomings in the Environmental Assessment. The Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter is calling on the Department of the Navy to conduct a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by independent experts on the wall's environmental and human impacts. As part of this assessment, the Oahu Chapter requests that the Navy fully evaluate the long-term consequences of the wall and consider natural or nature-based alternatives.
In addition, the soils at the firing range are heavily contaminated with lead from decades of bullets. These soils are now actively eroding into the beach and marine environment. Surfrider is continuing to request that the Navy propose a long-term solution for the management of this important coastal area that protects the public and the environment.