Hawaii’s varied climate, geology, and elevation gradients have created a wide range of habitats, from rainforests and dry forests to alpine areas and volcanic landscapes. Isolated in the North Pacific Ocean, these unique habitats have given rise to many specialized plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.
Urban development often results in habitat loss and hardened shorelines and beach loss is often linked to seawall construction. Stabilizing shorelines and marshes using soft shoreline stabilization techniques will reduce erosion, improving habitat for fish that use shoreline areas for food and shelter. One study suggested that marshes protect shorelines from erosion better than bulkheads. A diverse ecosystem is more resilient and better able to withstand environmental changes and invasive species encroachment.
Hawaii has implemented a range of policies and initiatives to prevent erosion and promote sustainable coastal management including shoreline protection regulations that control coastal development, establishing protected areas, laws regulating potential invasive species, and climate initiatives.