Maui, Hawaii Two WWII bombs off Molokini Crater will be left in place until a non-explosive removal option is developed, according to a statement from Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The decision not to detonate the munitions in place was based on a state-requested assessment from the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB).
Environmentalists, community members and lawmakers expressed concern over the detonation of WWII UXO in the waters off the crater which could cause possible irreversible damage to coral reefs, ocean life and the island itself.
DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case issued a reminder to dive and snorkel operators that everyone should practice the 3 R's of UXO safety in the area. The state is continuing to work with the USACE to pursue a nondestructive method to remediate the hazard. For now, the items will be managed "in place," according to a DLNR news release. NOAA has updated navigation charts to notify mariners of the hazards in the area.