Puʻuloa Beach Park is a community beach located adjacent to the US Marine Corps Puʻuloa Range Training Facility (PRTF). For almost a century, PRTF has been used as a range for rifle and pistol practice. The coastal dunes of PRTF thus have high levels of lead from the bullets used in target practice. Chronic erosion of the shoreline in front of PRTF has raised concerns about lead pollution along the public shoreline. Due to these concerns, Surfrider Foundation Oʻahu Chapter (SFO) volunteers conducted a series of sediment testing in areas along the shoreline in front of PRTF in ʻEwa Beach. Lead contamination levels were determined to be as high as 17 times the accepted levels for industrial areas.
In October 2022 SFO sent a letter to the Rear Admiral, Jeffrey Kilian, outlining the need to protect such a highly impacted area and the need for a Beach Contamination Assessment. SFO has three immediate goals within the campaign:
Long-term goals for the Protect Puʻuloa campaign include the Navy relocating all of the PRTF impact berms away from the sensitive coastal environment, conducting more frequent lead remediation of berms, and incorporating quantitative soil testing.
This campaign is being conducted in tandem with the Protect ʻEwa Beach Campaign that demands the military conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed sea wall.