Cleaning up Honolulu Harbor

Jeff Lansdown
Jeff Lansdown
Robin Bond Jr
Robin Bond Jr

By Paul Drewes bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A long overdue cleanup of Honolulu Harbor is not the end of an environmental effort.

But rather the kickoff of a new island company's educational endeavors.

Honolulu Harbor is the lifeblood of our islands.

Thousands of visitors come in on cruise lines,

Fishing boats dock here and container ships carry in the everyday items we all need.

"The harbor is critical to us as an island, every thing we have our cars and tvs our refrigerator everything comes in through the harbor," said Jeff Lansdown, with Wikoliana Educational Excursions.

Unfortunately, many of the things we use end up in this very important body of water.

"Everything from car batteries to motorcycles to whole ships. And they are out of sight, out of mind for most people," said diver Robin Bond Jr.

But a new educational excursion wants to show people what is there, and what can be done to help.

As part of a harbor stewardship program, divers have logged tons of junk sitting on the ocean bottom - like old appliances dumped from the pier.

"The majority of everything we find is right by the piers, they're throwing it from the piers," said Bond.

From the piers, you can't tell the bottom of the harbor is a dumping ground.

But thirty feet below the surface, the trash is an eyesore and a potential hazard.

Oils and other fluids from electronics and vehicles can leak into the water, contaminating fish around the state.

"What we put in the harbor we put in the ocean," added Bond.

Soon in Honolulu Harbor, there will be a boat taking kids and adults on educational excursions. Teaching them about the history of the harbor and its importance in island life.

"The harbor stewardship program is just the beginning. Other programs will involve maritime commerce, marine biology - there is an endless list of things we can teach people about the ocean," said Lansdown.

At the same time this local company will keep on cleaning up this busy port. Something that hasn't happened for decades. In fact, on Tuesday, May 19th at noon, divers will begin pulling up all the junk near Pier 7. Everyone is invited to come down to the harbor to see what is has been dumped in our waters. And there are plans to clean up other piers after the trash has been removed from Pier 7.