ala wai canal 1920 to 1928

SOS was formed informally in late 1960's by George Downing and John Kelly (and perhaps a few others) when they learned of a planned jetty to be built in the Nanakuli area. When they got access to the actual plans, they discovered that the jetty, as planned, would destroy a surf site.

They began organizing surfers and lobbied the State (Army Corps of Engineers???) to re-align the jetty so as not to destroy the surf spot. They were successful in this project.

SOS more or less went dormant until the state announced plans in the early 1970's to substantially widen Kuhio beach by importing sand. This project would have seriously affected a number of Waikiki breaks, including Canoes, Queens and Baby Queens and would have had an adverse affect of neighboring reefs.



Resistance to that project really launched Save Our Surf as an environmental friendly people's power base. The Kuhio Beach widening project has been turned back several times since the early 1970's struggle.

SOS also successfully lobbied the State for the creation of Sand Island Park. (I photo/documented the fact that kids in Kalihi played in the streets because of a shortage of park space in that community.). SOS also helped defeat a wild idea to put a sea wall at Kaimu Beach (Black Sand Beach) on the Big Island in order to make the black sand beach safe for envisioned hotel development.