The brown water is on the opposite end of Kailua Beach Park. For perspective it’s the side President Obama stays on vacation. He’s not here now but what is here is hundreds of dead fish and animals.
“It’s not the postcard water that you’re used to for Hawaii,” said Sean O’Malley, visitor for the East Bay Area.
The view of the Mokulua Islands is usually picture perfect, but today it was brown and dirty.
“I’ve never seen so much dead fish,” said Todd Mihara, Kailua resident.
Hundreds of fish and other interesting creatures lay dead on the shore.
“Unfortunately even though well meaning people were trying to throw the fish back in, the fish were trying to jump back out faster than they could be thrown back in,” said Susie Jannuzzi, Kailua resident.
We alerted the State Department of Health Clean Water Branch about the brown water and dead animals. It doesn’t appear to be from sewage. Instead it’s from runoff from the Kawainui marsh and canal. What people dump down storm drains is all flushing out and the huge volume of rain is pushing animals out to the ocean that aren’t meant to be there.
“To see this many fish on the beach it gives the impression that the water is contaminated or that we’ve had some type of fungus or bacteria that has killed them off but it’s not,” said Jannuzzi.
“I think that with the kind of rain we’ve had lots of things are washing down the stream. I wouldn’t trust going in the water,” said Carri Morgan, Nuuanu resident who says she visits Kailua Beach weekly.
A few people actually did venture out in the water. The O’Malley family went in for a surf lesson.
“It didn’t really occur to us that there might be an issue with it,” said Brendan O’Malley, visitor from the East Bay Area.
They did get out after talking with us because if fish are dying you probably don’t want to be in the water.
“We’re on vacation. We’re just here for a week so the last thing we want to see is one of our kids get sick,” said Sean O’Malley.
The Department of Health is urging people to stay out of the brown water, not just because it’s disgusting but dead fish attract sharks. Also the poor visibility could increase the chances a shark could mistake a human for food.
“Storm water can carry various pollutants down watersheds through our streams and onto our beaches. When storm events cause our beaches to turn brown, the DOH may issue Brown Water Advisories. Rain events like the State experienced this past weekend highlight how important land management practices and proper storm water design and construction are to our fragile ecosystem and island way of life,” said Scott Miyashiro, State Department of Health, Environmental Health Specialist.