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Engineering firm to study restoring Poipu beach

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Kauai County says it is paying a Honolulu engineering company more than $300,000 to study how to restore Poipu Beach, which has been eroding at a rate of about one foot per year.

The county hired Sea Engineering Inc. to research past and present climate and wave patterns and existing onshore conditions. The company is also expected to develop alternatives for restoration.

Poipu is a favorite beach for endangered Hawaiian monk seals and tourists. But the erosion has created dangerous swimming and snorkeling conditions.

The county said Friday restoration of the beach would improve public safety.

The county is paying about $182,000 of the cost of the study, while the Hawaii Tourism Authority is contributing $75,000 and the Poipu Beach Foundation has donated $50,000.

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