Video: Keehi Lagoon reopens after molasses spill, but business sluggish
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Keehi Lagoon was reopened to recreational and commercial ocean activities Saturday, nearly two weeks after the Matson molasses spill that killed thousands of fish and turned the water brown.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources had closed the lagoon to ocean recreation Sept. 13, five days after the spill at Honolulu Harbor.
On the other side of the lagoon, there were only a few people at the boat ramp on Sand Island, including two fishermen and a handful of people swimming in the water.
There are two commercial Jet Ski operators at Keehi Lagoon, including Aloha Jet Ski and X-treme Parasail and Jet Ski. Aloha Jet Ski said it was only taking reservations and planned to resume full operations on Sunday.
X-treme Parasail said it was back in the water, but there were very few customers.
"Normally on a Saturday we have 50 Jet Skiers," said X-treme Parasail owner Greg Longnecker. "Today I think we did four."
Longnecker said having the Jet Ski part of his business shut down for ten days meant the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue. Three employees were furloughed.
"Once everybody knows its reopened, then that will start to build momentum again, and then hopefully by next week, it'll be back to normal," said Longnecker. "But it's hard to say what's gonna happen."
The La Mariana Sailing Club's restaurant was hit hard by the molasses spill, as the sight and smell of dead fish kept customers away. The waters were much clearer on Saturday, and fish were even seen swimming near the restaurant.
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