Honolulu's waters devastated by molasses spill

233,000 gallons of refined sugar are causing serious environmental damage -- and attracting sharks


Lindsay Abrams
September 12, 2013 7:37PM (UTC)

The basic contours of news coming out of Hawaii are familiar: a brown plume was spotted Monday in Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon. Upon investigation, a leak was found in a pipeline. Health officials are warming swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water as cleanup crews work to collect hundreds of dead fish. And experts are watching closely for further environmental damage from the 233,000 gallon spill.

The one difference? They're not dealing with oil, but molasses. And in some ways, that's just as bad. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the refined sugar doesn't pose a direct threat to humans, but it's polluting the harbor's waters. The molasses is too thick for fish to breathe through, and thousands more are expected to die.

Advertisement:

Worse yet, it may start attracting sharks.

The shipping company successfully plugged the leak Tuesday. It's possible the state will fine them for violating the Clean Water Act down the line. For now, though, efforts are being concentrated on testing fish and water samples to measure the extend of the contamination.


Lindsay Abrams

MORE FROM Lindsay AbramsFOLLOW readingirl

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Clean Water Act Hawaii Sharks

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •