No easy solutions to trashy eyesore in state's top tourist desti - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

No easy solutions to trashy eyesore in state's top tourist destination

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

From the bridge that separates Ala Moana Beach Park from Waikiki, you get a beautiful view of Magic Island and the boats lining the yacht harbor.

But tourists enjoying the scenery also can't help but notice the floating field of trash there, at least a foot deep. 

"It does ruin the view," says Dolf Kramer, visiting from Aruba. "The good thing is that it's all together."

Ane Smith, of Holland, said it looks "terrible."

"It needs to be cleaned up."

The trash collects in a catchment area, installed a few years ago, where the Ala Wai Canal ends and the harbor begins.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is responsible for the waters, and officials say they're aware of the situation and looking for solutions.

The catchment area collects about 25 percent of the trash that makes it downstream. But it fills up fast, especially after a heavy rain.

And cleaning it out doesn't come cheap.

In just the last three months, the DLNR has had to pay $28,000 to empty the trap three times..

"This money comes from the boaters special fund,"  says Meghan Statts, of DLNR's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. "Every person that pays slip fees in the state of Hawaii is paying for it."

But Statts points out, boaters aren't the ones generating all the trash; it comes from upstream.

That's why the state is hoping other agencies, including the county and tourism groups, will step up to either help pay to clear the trap more frequently or install another one upstream to catch more debris.

While the catchment area was full of trash Monday, DLNR says it's not even close to being ready to empty again.

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