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Better Public Notice of Beach Pollution in Hawaii

Better Public Notice of Beach Pollution in Hawaii

The goal of this campaign is to convince the Hawaii State Department of Health to post warning signs at chronically polluted beaches and at any beach when a Brown Water Advisory is issued, similar to signs posted by lifeguards to warn of rough wave conditions.


March 03 2011

Brown Water Advisory on Kaua’i

The Kaua’i Chapter tests 20 surf breaks and freshwater streams on a monthly basis.  They were fortunate this month that their regularly scheduled water testing coincided with storm conditions - heavy rains, flooding, high winds and surf- and they were able to demonstrate how dangerous and polluted local waterways and beaches can get in those conditions and Brown Water Advisories are issued.

Runoff caused by the rains have loaded the streams and their receiving beaches with pollution from overwhelmed septic systems and cesspools, animal waste, dead animals and flood debris.  Thirteen of the Chapters 20 sampling sites exceeded health standards, and their highest reading taken at Niumalu Beach Park was nearly 100 times the national health limit of 104 enterococcus bacteria per 100 ml seawater.

See where the Chapter is testing and view their latest results here:

In addition to their regular water testing program the Kaua'i Chapter has been working with the State DOH to find and fix the sources of pollution in problematic watersheds.  They have also been advocating for the State to post health warning signs, similar to signs posted by life guards during heavy surf, to provide better public health protection in polluted conditions.

Read local media coverage of the Brown Water Advisory with comments from the Kaua'i BWTF Coordinator Dr. Cal Berg here:  The Garden

Better Public Notice of Beach Pollution in Hawaii

The Kaua'i Chapter has been asking the State of Hawaii to monitor more beaches and post warning signs at beaches contaminated with bacterial pollution for years now. State sampling has increased on Kaua'i. Some permanent advisory signs have been posted, but there remain chronically polluted beaches that are not posted. The Chapter's Blue Water Task Force program is currently sampling 20 beaches monthly, providing their own source of water quality information to the public. Visit the BWTF website to see where they are testing and and their latest data.  Click here.

The Chapter is also working cooperatively with the State Department of Health to perform source tracking experiments in the Nawiliwili watershed to find and fix pollution problems.

Visit the Campaign Website

  • Chapter:Kauai
  • State: HI
  • Country: USA
  • Theme: Clean Water
  • Launch Date: January 01 2009
  • Completion Date: Ongoing

Carl Berg