Hawaii molasses spill less delicious, more disastrous than it sounds
Um, did you hear about the gigantic molasses spill in Hawaii last week? Because despite sounding like a cute Candyland mishap, it’s killing thousands of fish. Honolulu Civil Beat:
State officials are rushing to head off an environmental and health disaster in Honolulu Harbor, where nearly a quarter million gallons of molasses from a ruptured pipeline have caused a massive marine die-off.
On Wednesday, colorful surgeonfish, pufferfish, and eels were swaying limp or lifeless in the currents.
Health Department employee Gary Gill said it was “the worst environmental damage to sea life” in Hawaii’s history, according to NBC. The molasses is sucking the oxygen out of the water, suffocating fish, eels, and crabs, and then the decaying fish are making the situation worse. It’s setting off a huge chain reaction:
The massive numbers of dead fish could even cause algae blooms that further deplete the water’s oxygen levels. Algae blooms can sicken or kill fish, as well as create elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people ill, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
There’s nothing sweet about THIS molasses incident. Especially since the State of Hawaii is currently paying for the cleanup, not Matson Navigation, the shipping company with the faulty molasses pipes.
- Molasses Spill Could Cause Substantial Damage to Marine Life , Honolulu Civil Beat
Get Grist in your inbox