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New Technology for High Wave Flooding Prediction to be Used in West Maui

A new concurrent, highly detailed, coastal flooding prediction tool has been created for West Maui areas affected by erosion caused by high tides. The apparatus, created by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (also known as PacIOOS), will aid in the coastal resilience of the West Maui shorelines and help to prepare residents, business owners and state/county officials for certain natural events up to 6 days in advance.

For those who have spent time on the West Side of Maui, you may be familiar with the worsening coastal erosion problems the community is facing in specific locations, such as Honokōwai. This deterioration of coastlines is a result of sea level rise, which causes an increase in wave and tide-driven flooding. According to a MauiNow article,

"chronic coastal erosion is leading to severe damage of properties and the associated land-based sediment impairs the nearshore water quality. Wave overtopping and flooding also pose a major safety concern to infrastructure, in particular to Honoapiʻilani Highway, the only access point to West Maui."

There are many aspects to take into account when worrying about the impact of coastal flooding and erosion including wave height, wave direction and tides, which is exactly what this new PacIOOS tool does.

For those who are interested in citizen science and would like to assist in further developing this technology, get involved by collecting photo evidence of wave run-up events along the West Maui coastline and submitting it virtually.

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