State tries to clean up Slipper Island

Published On: Jan 06 2014 05:24:00 PM HST

It's been an eye sore for those who want to enjoy Keehi Lagoon. But the state is now making efforts to clean up Slipper Island.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

The last time the state cleaned the island was more than a year ago. Now, state officials say they are taking action after receiving numerous complaints about the mess.

"There's a lot of trash out there that doesn't belong out there and I think the people ... on the island, basically, they bring their rubbish and dump it there and let the state worry about it," said Honolulu resident Thompson Tom.

The state has moved past worrying about the mess and started shuttling the trash back to shore. The Department of Land and Natural Resources said the trash comes from two main sources: the natural current and squatters.
"We did outreach last week Friday posting notices and trying to talk to people about the items that were out here, and that we were coming out to do the cleanup," said Megan Stance with the Division of Boating.

Items cleaned up include car parts, lounge chairs, bicycles and a ton of rubbish. The state said there's also some illegal activity that happens on the island.

"We had an incident a few months ago of someone out here burning copper wire, trying to burn the plastic off of it. Myself and the district manager had to come and put the fire out before it spread to the Kiawe bushes," said Stance.

The Kiawe bushes are going to get trimmed to allow state officials to better see what's on the island. 

"There are some people that move their boats on the other side, so we need to have a clear site," said Stance.
"In a tourist-based economy like Hawaii, people come from the mainland and look at this, and if it's an eyesore they they are not going to leave with a very good impression with the state of Hawaii," said Geno Lewis.

The cleanup efforts will go on until Friday. But state officials said they will need to continue to do maintenance work on the island.


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