Coralie Chun Matayoshi explains the effects of sea level rise on Hawaiian homes

Honolulu (KHON2) – Coralie Chun Matayoshi explains the effects of sea level rise on the local real estate industry in KHON2’s latest podcast episode of “What’s The Law”.

According to scientists from the University of Hawaii, Oahu could lose 40 percent of its beaches in the next 20 years, due to sea level rise accelerated by climate change.

“Sea level rise in and of itself is not inherently bad for beaches or the cause of their loss. Instead, it is how we have responded, by allowing levees, sand burritos, and other forms of artificial hardening of the shoreline. As the waves hit the walls and sandbags along the beaches, the sand is washed out into the ocean and the beach eventually washes it away. Without these man-made structures, our beaches could adapt to sea level rise by migrating inland as the waves get bigger and bigger,” says Coralie Chun Matayoshi, producer and host of KHON2’s What’s the Law.

Chun Matayoshi says that the public trust doctrine states that the beaches belong to the residents of Hawaii and that the government has a duty to protect natural resources, such as beaches, for future generations.

Chun Matayoshi says, “For years the government allowed property owners to apply for variances to build levees, but a law passed in 2020 now prohibits the construction of levees and other coastal reinforcement projects. Private property owners can still apply for emergency permits to install temporary protections like sand burritos, but the state must enforce the 3-year limit and not allow them to stay up indefinitely. And last year, the legislature passed a bill that requires sellers to tell buyers when there is a threat of sea level rise; that law went into effect on May 1.”

In addition to the effects of sea level rise, the latest podcast episode of “What’s The Law” looks at why the state legislature chose to get rid of payday loans.

“Last year, the Legislature got rid of payday loans in favor of installment loans that are paid back over time in smaller amounts. The maximum loan amount is $1,500 with a maximum interest rate of 36% and up to $35/month in fees. Lenders must be licensed and follow certain rules, and the new law came into effect earlier this year,” says Chun Matayoshi.

Viewers can listen to “What’s The Law” every Monday through the KHON2 official website.

KHON2 presents “What’s the Law”