EnviroWatch, DLNR Clean Up Foam Along Kalaeloa ShorelineThe beaches of Kalaeloa are favorites among surfers, but because of the debris that has washed ashore recently, surfers may want to take extra precautions before paddling out.
By SHANNON ROSENBERG
In May, local environmentalist Carroll Cox was going for his usual morning walk along a Kalaeloa beach when he discovered that the shore was covered in what appeared to be Styrofoam.
“It looked like the foam stretched for a good quarter mile,” said Cox, who is a radio talk show host and the president of investigative environmental group EnviroWatch Inc. “In some areas it looked like the foam was 7 inches thick.”
Cox said that the Styrofoam substance was all over the beach and in the tide pools. In some areas the foam was broken down, but in others it appeared in large chunks.
“We were worried because debris like the foam is dangerous to the environment and to the monk seals and sea turtles that inhabit our waters,” he said.
The source of the substance is believed to be a floating pier that escaped from Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. Floating piers
are made of Styrofoam and are encased with cement. At first Cox thought the foam was remains washed ashore from the tsunami in Japan, but theorized that a floating pier could be the cause when he found a large cement block toward the end of the beach.
“The state wasn’t in a hurry to get the beach cleaned up, so the EnviroWatch program went out to clean up as much of the foam as we could,” he said.
Later they were helped by the Department of Land and Natural Resources in clearing away the rest of the foam and debris on shore with vacuums.