The sea level off Hawaii’s coast is 10 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to ice melting into the ocean2 and sinking land,3 and it’s causing major issues. Solutions in Hawaii can be complicated because each island is affected differently by sea level rise and flooding, but the impact is felt by all islands collectively.4 The state is planning over $6 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include port and canal improvements, dredging, and restoration of wetland habitats.
Sea level rise is speeding up
Although the sea has only risen by 10 inches since 1950, its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by about 1 inch every 4 years.1 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.6
Sea level measurement from Hilo Bay area tide gauge since 1950