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Kaneohe residents call police to investigate illegal dumping

Published On: Apr 24 2012 09:51:06 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 25 2012 08:05:19 AM HST

It may take some sleuthing to get to the bottom of a mystery that has fouled the waters around part of Kaneohe Bay.

HONOLULU -

When University of Hawaii professor Marlin Atkinson came home Tuesday evening, he didn’t like what he saw in the Makana Kai Marina.

"I am a chemical oceanographer. I live here and I decided to take a look at what’s going on," said Atkinson.

He decided to take water samples to try and determine what was dumped into the Keaahala stream which leads down to the marina.

Twelve hours after the discharge was first discovered, the ocean waters were still discolored.

Atkinson said the resident manager called police to report the strange substance sometime after 7 a.m.

"The police tried to trace up the stream, with three other officers to find the source," said Mark Osbourne who manages the private marina and condominium complex.

Osbourne snapped pictures of the stream waters, which had turned a scary opaque white.

He also shared a photo taken by a resident who was testing out a camera mounted on a kite.

“It looked possibly like it could be a paint substance but we don't know," Osbourne said.

Professor Atkinson who conducts coral research at the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology at Coconut Island was concerned for the marine environment.

He pointed out an area at the end of the pier where a school of fish was gathered and could be seen gasping for oxygen.

"There's a lot of tilapia in here and they are out there air- breathing. They don’t like the water. It's probably low in oxygen. Fresh water is not normally, but this might be," Atkinson said.

Area residents who came home to see the discolored ocean waters are angry that someone would have such disrespect to just discharge something that would end up in the bay.

"If someone can’t get rid of something legally, don't dump it in the streams. Leave it in containers, don’t pollute the ocean at the same time," said Osbourne.

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