Oceanit has teamed up with the Hawai’i Department of Transportation (HIDOT) and students from Oahu’s Waianae High School to gather data on Makaha Beach Park’s shifting sands and the impacts on nearby Farrington Highway.
With support from Hawaii’s GEER Grants program, Oceanit is bringing together government & education to involve students in real-world sustainability work for Oahu’s coastlines and infrastructure. Makaha Beach and Farrington Highway are particularly important for residents and HIDOT for good reason: there is only one road in and out of the area.
Particularly during winter months, sands shift away from one part of the beach park, exposing the highway to erosion. In addition, storm swells have the ability to wash sand over the road, making driving dangerous.
Oceanit’s team is teaching students how to measure erosion and seasonal changes at the beach park, capturing ground and aerial measurement data, learning to fly drones, and mapping changes to the coastline. Through this surveying activity, students will help HIDOT understand seasonal and climate impacts to the only road connecting Oahu’s leeward side. Student groups from Waianae high school will interpret data and offer insights and possible courses of action that the community can take to protect the area and the vital roadway.