Last month, teams from Tidal Basin and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency joined forces with the Genki Ala Wai Project to help restore the waterway.

That morning, volunteers made genki balls, tennis-sized balls composed of soil, molasses, rice bran, lactic acid bacteria, phototrophic bacteria, and yeast. This mixture, known as EM•1®, targets pollutants and promotes a healthy ecosystem by breaking down harmful contaminants and sludge, boosting oxygen levels in the water.

The Ala Wai Canal, constructed in 1928 for land reclamation and flood mitigation, has suffered severe pollution from runoff. Pesticides, heavy metals, mud, trash, and other pollutants have accumulated, forming a thick layer of sludge. Despite being a picturesque backdrop for runners, bikers, and canoe paddlers, the canal, one of the most polluted waterways in Hawaii, will one day be clean. That is the goal of Genki Ala Wai Project, a nonprofit under the Hawaii Exemplary State Foundation, to make the canal swimmable and fishable by 2026.

Tidal Basin Cares, our philanthropic arm, presented the Hawaii Exemplary State Foundation with a $1,500 donation to further support the project.

Lend your support to the cleanup by volunteering or donating to the Genki Ala Wai Project. Together, we will make a difference.