Navy divers, SEALs pull junk from harbor


POSTED: Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dozens of Navy divers and SEALs hauled tires, a commercial kitchen sink and other junk out of Honolulu Harbor yesterday in celebration of World Ocean Day.

“;We all live off the ocean,”; said Ian Jeffrey Lansdown, owner of Wikoliana Educational Excursions and coordinator of the cleanup. “;With teamwork we as a community can achieve miracles.”;

Divers started scanning the waters around Pier 7 at 10 a.m. and in groups of three. They used lift bags to float items to the surface.

The items were hoisted by two cranes into a metal bin donated by Schnitzer Steel Hawaii. Lansdown said Schnitzer Steel will recycle scrap metal and give the proceeds to the Friends of the Falls of Clyde, which hopes to rehabilitate the only surviving iron-hulled, four-masted oil tanker.

Honolulu Harbor is the state's largest commercial harbor and the port of entry for nearly all imports, according to the state Harbors Division. Over the decades, tons of litter has piled up in the harbor, and Lansdown has recovered some of it.

During Wikoliana's first cleanup project in May, Robin Bond Jr., the organization's operations manager, joined in the cleanup and found a motorcycle, bicycle and handgun. The overall project is called the Harbor Stewardship Program.

Wikoliana is a new business that works to protect and preserve Honolulu's harbors and educate the public about the importance of keeping the ocean clean. In the fall, Lansdown will offer tours on a former Navy water taxi of the harbor and the surrounding area.

“;The goal of the Harbor Stewardship Program is to educate people to recycle rather than pollute,”; said Lansdown. Student volunteers from St. Andrew's Priory learned about ocean pollution after watching the divers bring up tires and other junk that polluted the harbor. Students also cataloged removed items, while others handed out recycled bracelets with a “;Wikoliana Harbor Hero”; imprint.

“;The clean harbor is a byproduct of education, and it's a good byproduct,”; Lansdown said.

To volunteer for the Wikoliana Harbor Stewardship Program, call 450-9200 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).