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Hawaii Wildlife Fund Releases New Marine Debris Prevention Curriculum for Elementary School Students

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) is excited to announce the release of our new marine debris prevention curriculum designed for elementary school students around Hawaiʻi.

hwf-kidsOver the past two school years, HWF mentors piloted this curriculum in 20 public schools working with over 52 different teachers and 1,140 students (grade kindergarten to 5th).  HWF mentors worked with students at schools around Hawaiʻi Island: in Kona, Kohala, Kaʻū, Hāmākua, Hilo, and Puna.

beach-clean-up-hwfThe “Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach” program teaches children about:

  • Understanding aquatic life and ecosystems (basic marine biology concepts)
  • Marine debris and how land-based litter sources find their way into the sea
  • Exploring what a “discard” really is and how our daily choices affect the amount of trash we produce
  • Vulnerability of island ecosystems and communities and the responsibility (kuleana) that we each have to protect them.

The curriculum was designed as a 3-visit program that challenged students to put forward innovative solutions to this global marine-debris problem.  The lessons are aligned with all Common Core and Next Generation Science and other benchmarks relevant to the elementary school level.

innovations-posterAll of the lessons and activities are available for free download from the HWF website or at the following link: http://wildhawaii.org/MDKEO/Su mmaryTeacherEdition.pdf

“It was a great pleasure guest teaching in the many different classrooms around the island.  We look forward to deepening our relationships with Hawaiʻi Island students and teachers in the coming years” said HWF mentor and Education Coordinator, Stacey Breining.


In addition, nine cleanup events were conducted as an optional follow-up component of this program (6 beach cleanups, 2 stream cleanups, 1 campus cleanup).   During these nine cleanup events, 286 students participated in removing over 1,500 lbs. of marine and land-based debris items from the coastline, stream banks, or their campus.

Please contact HWF at marine.debris.KEO@gmail.com or 808-769-7629 for more information or visit the HWF website (www.wildhawaii.org).

Puako Boat Ramp Community Cleanup

The public is invited to participate in the Puako Boat Ramp Community Cleanup led by Keep Puako Beautiful here in Puako from 8-11 a.m. on Oct. 22.

puako-clean-upBeach cleanup tally sheets, buckets, pickers, gloves, a jug of water and snacks will be provided. Partners in marine conservation will be on site to talk story and share information.

Reservations to rent a donated tank, dive air or kayak for water cleanup are required in advance from Puako Dive company at 854-4114, Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures at 886-0980 or Hawaii Surf & Kayak at 741-7768.

RSVP for cleanup and potluck: kpb@hawaii.rr.com

Hawaii Department of Health Cites Companies for HI-5 Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has issued Notices of Violation and Order against six companies for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law.

hi-5The companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2016 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • Arakaki Store, Inc.
  • Hawaiian Fresh Farm dba Culture Brew
  • La Hiki Ola
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • World of Aahs!
  • World Pac, Inc.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawai‘i laws. The companies received multiple written notices informing them of reporting requirements prior to the issuance of a penalty.

Hawaii Department of Health Cites the Body Shop for Glass Advanced Disposal Fee Violations; Deposit Beverage Container Program Obtains Conviction for Fraud

The Hawaii State Department of Health has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Buth-Na-Bodhaige, Inc. dba The Body Shop for failing to submit its annual report and payment required of glass container importers. The Body Shop was delinquent for the annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.

Department of HealthThe State’s Glass Advanced Disposal Fee (ADF) law (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section §342G-85) requires glass container importers to submit container inventory reports and payments to the Department of Health no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period. The Body Shop received an Informal Notice and Finding of Violation and Order on March 16, 2016, reminding them of reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

The Department of Health has assessed an administrative penalty against The Body Shop for the amount of $250 for failure to comply with ADF law. The Body Shop may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty. For more information on the Glass Advanced Disposal Fee Program go to http://health.hawaii.gov/shwb/sw-adf/

Maui Fraud Conviction
In other recycling news, the Department of Health’s Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) Program successfully prosecuted a Maui resident for fraud. Joel K. Liu, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of first degree theft and four counts of forgery in the second degree for taking funds earmarked for the program.

Liu submitted false invoices to be paid from the state after being awarded a state contract to start a certified redemption center. Liu was ordered to a one-year prison term and to repay the DBC Program back $132,965. Liu’s sentence is part of his five-year probation.

EPA Enforces Ban on Cesspools on Big Island and Maui – Fines Levied

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced separate agreements with the County of Hawaii, the County of Maui, and the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), to close illegal large capacity cesspools on Maui and the Big Island.

The County of Hawaii will pay a $105,000 fine for its two cesspools at the Hilo Drag Strip and one at the Hilo Trap & Skeet Range.

Hilo Trap and Skeet RangeThe County of Maui will pay a $33,000 fine for one cesspool at the Maui Raceway Track. The DLNR will pay a $50,000 fine for its cesspools at Wainapanapa State Park on Maui and will close or convert smaller cesspools at seven state park and recreational areas on Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island.

Wainapanapa State Park

Wainapanapa State Park

“To make Hawaii’s coastal waters safe for both residents and visitors, we must stop the flow of pollutants and pathogens from large capacity cesspools,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Public facilities have the same obligations as private ones to close them.”

EPA found continued use of the illegal cesspools despite a 2005 ban under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program. Subsequent to the Agency’s investigations, the Hawaii County has closed the three illegal cesspools at the drag strip and skeet range, with plans to replace them with approved individual wastewater systems at each location. Maui County has closed the illegal cesspool at the raceway. DLNR closed the six illegal cesspools that served the park’s 12 rental cabins at the Waianapanapa State Park near Hana and converted them to approved septic systems.

Cesspools collect and discharge untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. They are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state. Throughout Hawaii, over 3,000 large capacity cesspools have been closed since the 2005 ban, many through voluntary compliance. The EPA regulations do not apply to single-family homes connected to their own individual cesspools.

All three cases are each subject to a 30-day public comment period. For more information on the cases please visit:


https://www.epa.gov/uic/hawaii-cesspools-administrative-orders For more information on the large capacity cesspool ban and definition of a large capacity cesspool, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii

Re-use Hawaii Awarded Hawaiian Electric Grant

A $5,000 grant from the Hawaiian Electric Companies to Re-use Hawaii will help support the non-profit organization’s monthly Community Workshop Program designed to teach basic woodworking and safety skills needed when working with salvaged materials. The two-hour workshops are held on the first Saturday of each month at the Re-use Hawaii retail warehouse located in Kakaako. A registration fee of $20 covers the cost of materials needed for each project.

 Photo credit: Re-use Hawaii

Photo credit: Re-use Hawaii

“By reducing waste and preserving our islands’ natural resources, Re-use Hawaii shares our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Lori Hoo, Hawaiian Electric community relations manager. “The community workshop program will give participants a safe, hands-on experience in building with salvaged materials, and equip the community with the skills and tools to be a part of Oahu’s waste reduction solution.”

Re-use Hawaii was founded in 2007 as a solution to the solid waste problem on Oahu. By diverting construction and demolition debris headed for landfills, Re-use Hawaii is able to make this reusable building material available to the public at affordable prices. The retail warehouse, located at 200 Keawe Street, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about the Community Workshop Program, please call 537-2228.

Hawaii Companies Cited for HI-5 Violations – Costco Fined Nearly $16,000

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is reminding all beverage distributors in the state of reporting requirements for HI-5 beverage containers. Failure to properly meet reporting deadlines or improper reporting can result in penalty fines of up to $10,000 per violation per day. The next upcoming HI-5 beverage container reporting deadline is July 15, 2016.

HI-5Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the semi-annual payment period. DOH conducts regular inspections of beverage distributors and certified redemption centers to ensure compliance with Hawaii laws.

“The department issued notices to nine companies for violations during the last reporting period,” said Darren Park, manager of the Deposit Beverage Container Program. “Distributors and recyclers are reminded to comply with all upcoming deadlines and requirements to avoid penalty fees or suspension of certification.”

The department’s Deposit Beverage Container Program issued Notices of Violation and Order (NOVO) against nine companies in the past year for failure to submit payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the State’s Deposit Beverage Container law. All of the companies were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2015 and each company was fined an administrative penalty fee of $400 for failure to comply with deposit container requirements. Each company was provided the opportunity to request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

The companies cited were:

  • BEM, Inc. dba Kona Kombucha located at 32-2032 Old Mamalahoa Highway in Papaaloa on Hawaii Island;
  • Celestial Natural Foods, Inc. located at 66-443 Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa on Oahu;
  • Gauranga Live LLC located at 200 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo on Hawaii Island
  • Genesis Today located at 6800 Burleson Road in Austin, Texas;
  • Instapressed located at 856 Ilaniwai St. in Honolulu on Oahu;
  • Jeonju Makeolli USA Company located at P.O. Box 1313 in Honolulu on Oahu;
  • Kauai Natural Waters LLC located at 5694 Ohelo Road in Kapaa on Kauai;
  • Nalo Juice LLC located at 402 Opihikao Place in Honolulu on Oahu, and
  • Pacific Hi-Tak, Inc. located at P.O. Box 701 in Honolulu on Oahu.

DOH also cited a number of companies in 2015 and 2014 for other violations of the Deposit Beverage Container Law.

Costco Wholesale Corporation located at 525 Alakawa Street in Honolulu on Oahu was cited for failing to properly label deposit beverage containers for Kirkland brand water during compliance inspections in 2015 on Oct. 9 and Nov. 10. Costco paid a penalty of $15,998.

Garden Isle Disposal, Inc. located in Lihue on Kauai was cited for multiple violations within the period of March 18, 2014 to June 27, 2015 that included failing to inspect deposit containers for redemption labels, failing to pay only on eligible containers, and failing to inspect deposit containers for contamination. Garden Isle Disposal (GID) was fined an administrative penalty fee of $12,000. A settlement reached between DOH and GID through a consent order requires GID to pay $3,000 and submit a corrective action plan to avoid future violations. GID will forfeit the $9,000 in suspended penalty fees if there are additional Deposit Beverage Container Law violation(s) within one year of the consent order.

Wow Wow Lemonade, LLC located in Kahului on Maui was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2015. The company paid a penalty fee of $400.

Kale’s Natural Foods located in Honolulu on Oahu was cited and fined a penalty fee of $400 for failure to submit their semi-annual report for Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014.

FRS located in Chantilly, VA was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014 and paid a penalty fee of $400.

Kukuiula Store located in Koloa on Kauai was cited for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014 and paid a penalty fee of $440.

HaHa Hawaiian Organics, Inc. located in Honolulu on Oahu was cited and paid a penalty fee of $400 for late payments and reports that were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The company was cited again and fined a penalty of $400 for non-payments and delinquent reporting for Jan. 1 to June 30, 2015. DOH withdrew the penalty after the dissolution of the company.

DOH issued a total of 17 Notices of Violations and Orders for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 to deposit beverage container distributors for failing to submit their reports and payments and to certified redemption centers for various redemption violations. Despite the DOH’s compliance assistance attempts, these companies continued demonstrating non-compliance with the deposit beverage container program.

Big Island Police Searching for Parties Responsible for Dumping Abandoned & Derelict Vehicles

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking the public for help in identifying individuals or businesses who are responsible for the dumping of abandoned and derelict vehicles.
Since January 1, approximately 280 abandoned or derelict vehicles have been reported in the Kona District alone, compared with 106 reported during the same period in 2015.

“Be on the lookout for private or business vehicles that may be dumping vehicles on the sides of our roadways,” said Sergeant Roylen Valera of the Kona Community Policing Section. Dumping a vehicle is a criminal offense punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, offenders could face a criminal littering charge, which is a petty misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $1,000 and community service.

“We would like to remind vehicle owners to complete the necessary paperwork if they dispose or transfer their vehicle to another person or entity, to ensure that they will not be liable for the vehicle if it is found abandoned on the side of the road,” Sergeant Valera said. If the paperwork is not completed, you will be responsible for any fines or towing charges. Our goal is to preserve the beauty of Hawaiʻi Island. ”

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of those who dump abandoned or derelict vehicles to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Sergeant Roylen Valera at 326-4646, extension 259.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Waikiki Beach Clean-Up and Scavenger Hunt

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Partners as they aim to cleanup Waikiki on Saturday, June 25th beginning at 9:00 AM.

Waikiki Beach Clean Up

The epicenter of our tourism economy and home to the states busiest beaches, Waikiki is visited by thousands daily. Although a beach sweeper comes through to clean the beaches, much is still missed and we plan to help out by bringing a small army of people as we sweep across Waikiki along with a team at Ala Wai Harbor to clean.

Plan is to meet at Kapiolani Park where we will check in starting at 9AM and visit the educational booths. Buses will begin departing at 9:30AM to multiple locations with pick up locations for the tired or time short volunteers. The most beastly of beastly volunteers will walk the duration of Waikiki.

Currently in the planning stages, more will be added to this event. Please save the date for Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s Waikiki Summer Cleanup Festival.

Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management Understaffed and Overworked – Appliances Stack Up

The recent Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island of Hawaii has had everyone on edge the last few months and both State and County officials have had their hands full dealing with this outbreak.  Thousands and thousands of tires have been disposed of since the county started accepting tires at the transfer stations.

Folks have been noticing that the Hilo Transfer station in general has had a lot of e-waste and appliances stacking up.

Appliances at the Hilo Landfill on 4/30/2016.

Appliances at the Hilo Landfill on 4/30/2016.

Recently Doug Arnott, from Arnott’s Lodge in Hilo, asked the following question in the Facebook Group Opala in Paradise to Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, Head of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Environmental Management:

Bobby Jean Leithead Todd can you give us an update on the ever growing pile of refrigerators and stoves at the Hilo Station…it seems that a good economy is causing old units to be dumped faster than they can be removed….or is this related to refrigerant removal or a slowdown in scrap metal buying by China…can we get an update please

Leithead-Todd responded:

We’ve had to pull manpower and equipment away to deal with tires and other dengue related clean ups. Earlier we had it pile up as we had a contract dispute and we could not move them until the contract issue was resolved at the state level. Now we are moving the white goods out but they seem to be coming back in as fast as we dispose of them. We hope to get ahead of it after we stop accepting tires.

Island Schools Launch Recycling Drive and Environmental Awareness Campaign – Phone Book Recycling Drive

The Berry Company, LLC, proud publisher of the Hawaiian Telcom Directory, is partnering with schools on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai to launch the #SmallBizBigOutcome recycling drive and environmental awareness campaign. The campaign runs through May 15, and is in conjunction with the 2016 Hawaiian Telcom Directory delivery on the neighbor islands.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Local schools on each island will compete to collect the most outdated telephone directories, which will keep the directories out of landfills through recycling. For the first time, all participating schools will receive a cash prize for their involvement in the program, and one school will win a grand prize. The grand prize winner will be selected based on book collection totals and efforts to engage and educate students about recycling and protecting the local environment.

“Berry’s recycling drive helps to protect the local environment, but also raises funds for neighbor island schools, and we’re grateful for the support from our local community partners that help bring this campaign to life,” said John Lambert, branch manager of The Berry Company in Hawaii. “We love seeing how students of all ages get involved and learn first-hand the difference recycling can make.”

Hawaiian Telcom Directories are 100-percent recyclable. After the close of the contest, the telephone directories are shipped off-island for recycling. On Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai and Maui the materials are converted into an array of new products, including building insulation, writing and copier papers, newsprint and paper towels. The directories from Molokai are processed at a waste-to-energy facility where they are used to generate a valuable source of renewable energy for Oahu. Recycling and environmental sustainability are important initiatives year round, so residences and businesses throughout Hawaii should check with their local recycling department for more information on recycling programs offered in their area.

Berry is also partnering with local food banks, including Hawaii Foodbank, Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch, The Food Basket and the Maui Foodbank, to host a community food drive. By using the recyclable directory delivery bags, Berry encourages the community to fill the bags with nonperishable food items and donate them to local food banks.

For more information about reusing, repurposing and recycling, visit Berry’s online hub dedicated to spotlighting business and residents working to create positive change, SmallBizBigOutcome.com. There you can also find more information about the recycling drive, drop-off locations and hours, as well as a list of the participating schools and food banks.

UH Hilo Hosts Marine Noise Pollution Documentary Screening

A public screening and state premiere of the newly released film Sonic Sea will be shown at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. in the Science and Technology Building Room 108.
Sonic Sea

The 60-minute documentary about marine noise pollution is narrated by Rachel McAdams and based on the true story of a former U.S. Navy officer. Ken Balcomb is credited with solving the tragic mystery involving a mass whale stranding in the Bahamas, forever changing how we understand man’s impact on the ocean.

Sonic Sea was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Imaginary Forces in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs. The film, directed and produced by Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld, features musician, human rights and environmental activist Sting along with renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

The screening is hosted by UH Hilo’s Marine Science (MARE) and Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) programs.

For more information, call 932-7592.

Volunteers Invited to “Huki” Algae for Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 21 to 27 is Invasive Species Awareness Week both nationally and in the state of Hawai‘i. Mālama Maunalua, a non-profit stewardship organization, is inviting volunteers to participate in a community huki (“pull”) of invasive algae  on Saturday, Feb. 27 to help remove three types of invasive alien algae in Maunalua Bay.
Great Huki2
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Paiko Beach in East Oahu. Volunteers will meet and depart from Kuli‘ou‘ou Beach Park located at 100 Bay Street. Parking is available at the beach park lot and on Summer Street. Contact volunteer@malamamaunalua.org or visit http://www.malamamaunalua.org/volunteer/sign-up/ to RSVP.

Great Huki1

The three types of invasive algae affecting the marine ecosystem in the Bay include Gorilla Ogo, Leather Mudweed, and Prickly Seaweed, scientifically known as Gracileria salicornia, Avrainvilea amadelpha, and Acanthophora spicifera. Known to be some of the greatest threats to Hawai‘i’s coral reefs and nearshore marine ecosystems, these  species flourish off of an environment created by sediment and runoff from the land. As the invasive alien algae spreads, it smothers coral reefs and native algal communities, killing extensive areas of native habitat.

Before and After the Great Huki

Before and After the Great Huki

One of Mālama Maunalua’s key initiatives in restoring the health of Maunalua Bay has involved removing the invasive alien algae through regular volunteer-based hukis. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has removed over 3.5 million pounds of invasive alien algae, and cleared 250,000 square meters of invasive species from Paiko Beach, thanks to the help of over 15,000 volunteers of students, community members, partner organizations, and businesses. Mālama Maunalua donates pulled algae to area farmers to be used as fertilizer.

One Arrested, 70 Cited, and Tons of Trash Airlifted Out of Napali Coast and Kalalau Beach

Combined law enforcement and clean-up operations at the world-renowned Kalalau Beach in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai over the past month, have resulted in dozens of citations, an arrest, and the airlifting of tons of accumulated rubbish from the area.

Na Pali Arrest

On Thursday, Jan. 4, 2016, Francis “Alekai” Kinimaka of Hanalei was arrested by DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officers after he landed a jet-ski on Kalalau Beach, a closed area, without a permit.  He was cited with a total of four petty misdemeanors.  The jet-ski he was operating was taken into evidence. “We want people to know that we have a zero tolerance attitude toward any type of unlawful activities along the Napali Coast,” said Francis “Bully” Mission, DOCARE Kauai Branch Chief.  Kinimaka’s passenger was also cited for not having a permit to be in the area.

During four separate enforcement visits in January and February, DOCARE officers issued nearly 70 citations to hikers and backpackers who did not have state-issued camping permits.  These permits allow a maximum of 60 people to camp in designated areas fronting Kalalau Beach for five days at a time. Suzanne Case, DLNR Chair said, “The Kalalau region is remote, and that’s precisely what makes it a world-class destination for backpackers.  This remoteness gives it its wilderness character.  My administration is committed to restoring the entire Napali Coast to the kind of condition all of Hawaii can be proud of. The Napali Coast is perhaps the most photographed area in all of Hawaii. It is heavily used and this is the reason we have laws that balance visitation with protection of natural and cultural resources along the coast and within the Napali’s stunning valleys.”

Maintenance crews from the DLNR Division of State Parks fly into Kalalau at least once a month to maintain overtaxed composting toilets, to perform trail maintenance and to fly out tons and tons of trash. DLNR State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell explained, “It is clear that most of the rubbish being flown out of Kalalau was not carried in on someone’s back.  Plastic lawn chairs, gallon glass bottles of alcohol, huge pop-up tents, full-sized air mattresses, and other non-backpacking materials have been found in unpermitted camps in some of the most prime designated camping spots along Kalalau Beach. All Hawaii state taxpayers are helping cover the costs of supporting these cleanups and it is not fair to them or to the many legal campers who get permits and practice a wilderness “pack-it-in, pack-it-out, ethos.”

During this week’s clean-up operation, a dozen unpermitted camps and abandoned property were removed.  These camps were posted with “notices to vacate” several weeks ago.  Items taken from the camps will be stored for 30 days and unless rightful owners reclaim their items, they will be discarded.

The largest camp dismantled this week is believed to be Kinimaka’s base camp. Campers report men coming through the designated campground early each day asking if anyone wants a ride out. One camper told DLNR that she accepted the offer and paid $125 for a jet-ski lift, because she was tired after the 11-mile one way hike into the valley.  The first two miles of the Kalalau trail are open to anyone to hike; beyond that requires a state permit.

DOCARE Chief Thomas Friel stated, “We are serious about shutting down the illegal commercial activity which is despoiling the landscape, impacting sensitive cultural sites, and often creating a very unpleasant experience for legal campers.  We’re putting the illegal operators on notice right now, that if you continue, you will be caught, cited, and could face criminal penalties.”

Kalalau Ops Media Clips 2-5-16 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

100 Participate in International Symposium Hosted by Hawai’i Wildlife Fund

Last week, Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) & World Ocean Collective (WOC) hosted their first ever international symposium in Hilo, Hawaii, entitled the 2015 Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris & Tsunami Driftage: Dialogue on marine debris removal, prevention, disaster recovery and making connections around the North Pacific.

Photo of the symposium attendees after Friday night’s public event.

Photo of the symposium attendees after Friday night’s public event.

It took place on December 3rd-4th, 2015 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo, followed by a culminating beach cleanup event hosted by HWF at Kamilo Point, Ka’ū District, Hawai’i Island on December 5th.

HWF worked together with local marine debris partners (including Surfrider Foundation, Kōkua Hawaii Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources, County of Hawai‘i Aquatics Department and local Int’l Coastal Cleanup coordinators); groups from the Pacific Northwest (Washington CoastSavers, SOLVE Oregon, Lion’s Club International); and Japan (Japan Environmental Action Network “JEAN”, Sea Beautification Society) to achieve the following goals:

  1. Share effective recovery and removal techniques;
  2. Spread the word about tsunami and disaster preparedness;
  3. Share updates and new information about ongoing marine debris prevention work; and
  4. Make connections and work together to reduce the amount of marine debris in our world’s oceans and waterways.

In total, 50 participants attended the entire two-day symposium and subsequent cleanup event where over 1,000 pounds of marine debris were collected for disposal, art projects and recycling. Well over 100 people attended the public symposium on Friday evening (Dec. 4th) in downtown Hilo. Working with members of the international marine debris removal community, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund showcased the work of non-profit and agency partners around the Pacific shorelines that has been accomplished in response to and since the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami tragedy in East Japan. Presentations were given by experts from Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Washington State, British Columbia, Georgia, and Japan.

“We are humbled by the turnout of this past week and have made new friends and allies in our mission to remove and prevent marine debris to protect native wildlife. The three days with our partners around the North Pacific were very productive”, said Megan Lamson, HWF’s Hawaiʻi Island Program Director. “Marine debris is everyone’s problem and is a worldwide issue. We have to think globally and act locally to inspire the change we seek in this world. By coming together to share stories and to discuss effective cleanup strategies as a team, we can reduce the amount of marine debris in our world’s oceans hopefully even prevent it.”

Group shot after the Kamilo cleanup event where over 1,000 lbs. of debris were  removed in about three hous by HWF and volunteers.

Group shot after the Kamilo cleanup event where over 1,000 lbs. of debris were removed in about three hous by HWF and volunteers.

There were eight presentations each day, including a keynote speech by Dr. Walter Dudley, Emeritus Professor of Marine Geology and Oceanography with the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where he taught for over 30 years. Dudley also serves as Science Advisory Council chair with the Pacific Tsunami Museum. During his talk, he shared the science of tsunamis, preparedness advice, facts about local Hilo tsunamis, and also stories about how disaster debris saved lives (when it was used as life rafts).

In addition, shorter presentations were shared by the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Regional Coordinator, Surfrider Kauaʻi cleanup coordinators, International Pacific Research Center scientists, Resource Mapping Hawai‘i, cleanup coordinators in the Pacific Northwest and Japan (JEAN), and two debris artists from British Columbia, Peter Clarkson, and Atlanta, Pam Longobardi.

In addition, an update was provided on marine debris monitoring and response by DLNR’s new Marine Debris Coordinator, Kirsten Moy, who introduced Resource Mapping’s Miguel Castrence to discuss the aerial-ortho imagery their company is collecting to identify current marine debris and “JTMD” (Japan Tsunami Marine Debris) hotspots around each of the shorelines in the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Both this aerial survey project and the debris coordinator position were funded by donations from the Japan Ministry of the Environment after the March 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Moy shared that as of September 2015, 64 debris items had been confirmed as JTMD and about half of them, or 30, had washed ashore in Hawaiʻi or were discovered in Hawaiian waters.

The evening was concluded with a final talk from Angela Kang, coordinator of the Hawai‘i Zero Waste Alliance. Kang’s presentation was titled, “The Tao of Zero Waste” and she urged audience members to live a more pono lifestyle by only purchasing items that can be recycled or composted, and not incinerated or landfilled. Lamson closed the evening by adding that, “There is no time for negativity and we must all be on board together to stop this global flood of marine debris”.

EPA Requires Oil Spill Containment Improvements at Aloha Petroleum Bulk Fuel Facilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with Aloha Petroleum Ltd. that resolves federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act violations at its Hilo East bulk fuel storage terminal in Hilo, Hawaii Island. In addition to installing spill containment at its fuel storage facilities statewide at an estimated cost of $3.25 million, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $650,000.

aloha petroleumThe company failed to install vapor controls at its Hilo East Terminal that complied with emission limits on its gasoline loading rack, and failed to have appropriate secondary spill containment for oil storage tanks. Aloha Petroleum recently shut down operations at the Hilo East facility, and the company cannot reopen it until volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor controls are installed and oil spill containment is improved, which EPA estimates would cost a total of at least $900,000.

“This enforcement action ensures that harmful gasoline vapors will be controlled at the Hilo East Terminal,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “And Aloha Petroleum will be upgrading its oil containment basins, which are made of coral rock and too porous to prevent spilled fuel from leaking into the environment.”

Aloha Petroleum will need to make oil spill secondary containment improvements to its bulk fuel facilities in Hawaii, including the construction of impermeable dikes, berms and basins to contain oil in case of a spill from its tanks. These improvements, which EPA estimates will cost up to $3.25 million, will occur at the following five facilities:

  • Hilo West Facility, Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kahalui Terminal, Kahului, Maui
  • Nawiliwili Terminal, Lihue, Kauai
  • Barbers Point Terminal, Kapolei, Oahu
  • Honolulu Terminal, Honolulu, Oahu

To resolve the Clean Water Act violations, $117,000 of the $650,000 civil penalty will be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Clean Air Act rules require vapor controls on loading racks to limit VOC emissions during tank truck loading. Gasoline vapors include hazardous air pollutants, such as benzene, and VOCs, which are an ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone or smog and can cause human respiratory impacts and aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma. For more information please visit: http://www3.epa.gov/ozonepollution/

Oil, fuel spills and other contamination from onshore sources can pollute and harm coral reefs and marine life. Clean Water Act regulations require onshore oil and fuel storage facilities to have spill prevention, control and countermeasures that include proper secondary containment to prevent oil and fuel from being discharged into wetlands, streams and the ocean. For more information please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations

New Scientific Study Finds Coral Reefs Under Attack From Chemical in Sunscreen as Global Bleaching Event Hits

A new study published today in a toxicology journal has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sunscreen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs and threatens their existence.

Coral BleachingOxybenzone is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, and pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sunscreens and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage outfalls and from coastal septic systems.

The study comes less than two weeks after NOAA declared the third ever global coral bleaching event and warned that locally produced threats to coral, such as pollution, stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that they will resist bleaching, or recover from it.

It demonstrates that exposure of coral planulae (baby coral) to oxybenzone, produces gross morphological deformities, damages their DNA, and, most alarmingly, acts as an endocrine disruptor. The latter causes the coral to encase itself in its own skeleton leading to death.

These effects were observed as low as 62 parts per trillion, the equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools

Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million. This is over 12 times higher than the concentrations necessary to impact on coral.

A team of marine scientists from Virginia, Florida, Israel, the National Aquarium (US) and the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, undertook the study.  Lead author Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory Virginia, said, “The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue.  We have lost at least 80% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers. Everyone wants to build coral nurseries for reef restoration, but this will achieve little if the factors that originally killed off the reef remain or intensify in the environment.”

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion are emitted into coral reef areas each year, much of which contains between one and 10% oxybenzone.

Further information about the study can be found at http://www.haereticus-lab.org and marinesafe.org.

More Redemption Centers Open On Big Island

Mayor Billy Kenoi, the Department of Environmental Management, and the State Department of Health, announce that residents of Hawai`i Island now have more places to redeem their HI5 beverage containers at County of Hawai`i Recycling and Transfer Stations.

Puna residents can now recycle and redeem HI5¢ labeled beverage containers again at the Pāhoa HI5 Certified Redemption Center at the Pāhoa Recycling and Transfer Station and on October 3rd at the Volcano HI5 Certified Redemption Center at the Volcano Recycling and Transfer Station. Residents in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates area can now redeem their HI5¢ labeled beverage containers at the newly opened certified redemption center at the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Recycling and Transfer Station.

Redemption CentersOpportunities for recycling non-HI5¢ glass and plastic as well as paper fibers will also be available at the site. For more information, call the County of Hawai`i, HI5 Recycling Specialists at 961-8549 or visit our website at hawaiizerowaste.org.

DLNR Continues to Remove Possible Japan Tsunami Debris From Hawaii Beaches

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) continues to respond to reports of possible Japan Tsunami Marine Debris items that arrive on island reefs and beaches.

beached boat

Today, a DLNR crew retrieved a reported 20’ skiff at Sandy Beach area, bearing Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers. It is the seventh boat reported since February this year, following six others that arrived on Hawaii shores. Three were on the Big Island, at Kohanaiki, Kawaihae and Kawa Bay. One was overturned on Maui near the Aston Mahana, and two on Oahu were reported, at Kahuku and Punaluu.

Beached Boat at Sandy

Two large plastic bins were also reported this week, which bore identification marks that may be traceable to Japan. One was located at Kamilo Beach, Hawaii and removed by volunteers of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The other was located on Kauai at Larsen’s beach.

Tsunami container

Items with identification numbers, Japanese characters, are reported to NOAA which works with the Japan Consulate in Hawaii to confirm provenance with the Government of Japan. Items not claimed by the original owner may then be disposed of.

To report large or unusual marine debris items, especially those that may have attached marine organisms, please email dlnr.marine.debris@hawaii.gov and DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. Calls may also be made to DLNR at 587-0400.

BioEnergy Hawaii Plans Hawaii Island Resource Recovery, Energy Conversion System

BioEnergy Hawaii, LLC, (BEH) a designer, developer and operator of waste treatment and alternative energy systems, plans a fully integrated resource recovery facility on the west side of Hawaii Island. The $50 million facility will incorporate state-of-the-art material handling equipment and energy conversion technology to substantially reduce the amount of waste currently going directly into the landfill.
Bioenergy fact sheetThe West Hawaii facility will be totally financed with private equity. The project has the support of a $100 million special purpose revenue bond issued by the State of Hawaii. The project will be located near the Puuanahulu landfill; the exact location of the facility will be released when lease negotiations are finalized.

BioEnergy Hawaii is the long-term vision of Kosti Shirvanian, president of Pacific Waste, Inc., the parent company of BEH. “We have lived and worked on the Big Island for almost 20 years; and as members of the community we all share a responsibility to care for the land,” said Shirvanian. “This project will transform our waste into a resource and make a positive contribution to our community and our environment.”

The project will accept municipal solid waste (MSW) delivered by local waste collection companies, and divert a significant amount of the incoming waste (70 percent) from the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill.

“We believe this project will meet Mayor Billy Kenoi’s goal of extending the life of the County’s landfills by diverting more waste, and the joint goal of protecting the aina,” said Guy Kaniho, BEH general manager.

The project will establish advanced recycling operations and produce multiple value products from the incoming waste. In order to maximize the diversion rate, the facility design integrates the recovery of three separate value streams: recyclable commodities, organics and solid fuel.

The recyclable materials, which would have been buried in the landfill, will be recovered and directed into the local recycling commodity market.

The wet organic waste (i.e. food and green waste); will be treated through an anaerobic digestion (AD) process to stabilize the material and produce a nutrient rich natural fertilizer and high-quality compost. The AD operations will also recover an energy rich biogas—a flexible fuel source that can be used to generate electricity, be upgraded to pipeline quality renewable natural gas (RNG), or compressed to create an alternative transportation fuel (known as bio-CNG).

The residual solid fuel portion—items not suitable for use in the anaerobic digester such as mixed paper, textiles, low-value plastic and wood—will be processed into a post-recycled engineered fuel—a dry, light material suitable for thermal energy conversion operations.

BEH plans to establish “closed-loop” waste recovery operations by encouraging local haulers to convert their waste collection vehicles to utilize the locally sourced bio-CNG. The fleet conversions will stabilize the waste hauler’s long-term fuel costs and allow them to utilize the low-carbon renewable biofuel and reduce the island’s dependency on imported fossil fuels.

Incoming waste will be handled and processed in an enclosed building to ensure dust and odor control. The waste will be separated and sorted through a combination of automated and manual recovery methods. Materials that cannot be recycled or processed into renewable fuel, fertilizer and compost will be delivered to the Puuanahulu landfill—about 30 percent of the total volume.

“Given our Island’s limited land area and fresh water resources,” said Kaniho, “recycling and waste diversion is a priority, as it is in much of the industrialized world.”

The goals of BEH are to divert the waste from traditional landfill disposal, preserve the environment, create local jobs, and make valuable products to circulate into the marketplace. “BioEnergy Hawaii has an experienced development team in place with a strong commitment to the community,” said Kaniho. “We use superior technologies, have solid financing and employ smart logistics to accomplish BEH’s goals.”

The BEH resource recovery facility is designed to address the challenges of waste disposal operations in Hawaii and to provide sustainable resource management solutions. The project is in alignment with current governmental goals and waste industry directives. BEH believes diverting the waste stream to create recycled energy value out of recovered material is a priority as it will benefit the community, preserve the environment and spur long-term economic growth.

Construction on the BioEnergy Hawaii facility is scheduled to begin during the summer of 2016.

For more information on the project and BEH, visit www.bioenergyhawaii.com.