Maalaea Shoreline Affected by Turtle Waste

WAILUKU (KHNL) -- Department of Health officials determined that reports of a sewage spill at Maalaea Thursday were actually large deposits of turtle waste.

Maui Police Department received a call at 9:54 a.m. from an individual reporting what appeared to be sewage along the shoreline near Haycraft Park.

DOH Environmental Health Specialist Roland Asakura of the Clean Water Branch determined at 12:30 p.m. that the material was turtle waste.

About one mile of shoreline was affected, from Haycraft Beach Park stretching south along Sugar Beach.

DOH District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang noted that the calm weather was likely the culprit.

"With the calm tides and Kona winds, we can expect to see this occur more often," he said. "The area becomes like a large lagoon, and the waste that is normally washed out with the waves settles along the edges."

The beaches remained open, and DOH officials determined there was no danger to public health.

The incident was classified as a natural occurrence, and there are no known diseases that are transferred from marine turtles to humans.