Kenolio Park

This area is a typical back beach flood plain that receives floodwaters from the Waiakoa stream and smaller local streamlets. This site was likely another Cryptorheic basin bordered by the coastal sand dunes. This area has had some spectacular flooding in recent times and appears to be reverting to a more wetlands-like state. Areas like this one are elevated just slightly above sea level and have a high water table just beneath the surface. Climate change will be reclaiming areas like this one in the next few decades. We expect to see more incidents of “nuisance flooding” as water tables start to rise. And more cases of severe flooding from increasing storm activity. These coastal basins are also susceptible to inundation by tsunamis and high-wave events.

Kenilio Park, in Kihei

The delicate balance between ocean and shoreline here is kept in check by the protective reef just offshore, but this arrangement may be changing, as the water quality and pollutants entering the ocean here are degrading the reef at an alarming rate. If we lost the fringing reefs on this part of the coastline vast areas and a large population will be at risk of losing homes and property.