Coast Guard National Strike Force samples water in Honolulu Harbor

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU – Representatives from the Coast Guard National Strike Force, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted water sampling as part of a joint effort to analyze the effects of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor Sunday.

The combined team departed Coast Guard Station Honolulu Sunday morning aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium. The National Strike Force crewmembers from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Strike Teams used a water quality instrument to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels at various locations around the harbor that were affected by the spill.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force head to their first location to use a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu Sept. 15, 2013. Personnel from the Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Lockheed Martin tested the water at various locations around Honolulu Harbor affected by the molasses spill. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard National Strike Force head to their first location to use a water quality instrument used to monitor depleted oxygen and pH levels in Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu Sept. 15, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle. Click for more

The National Strike Force provides highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate preparedness for and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment. The National Strike Force’s area of responsibility covers all Coast Guard Districts and Federal Response Regions.

The National Strike Force team members arrived in Honolulu Saturday after Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received an official request from the Hawaii Department of Health to assist with the response to the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor, Friday.

The Coast Guard began supporting the response Monday morning when investigators from Sector Honolulu responded to a report of discolored water in the harbor. Since then, the Coast Guard has held daily meetings with the lead State agency, Hawaii Department of Health. Crews from Station Honolulu have conducted daily patrols in the affected area since Monday.

The request for federal assistance allows the Coast Guard to support the lead agency with a wide variety of resources to include specialized response personnel, boats and equipment from the Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies.

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