KEEHI LAGOON BEACH PARK, Hawaii (KHON2) — Ola i ka Wai — or Water is Life — has become a rallying cry for community organizers and those impacted by the series of fuel and toxic foam spills at Red Hill.

The Board of Water Supply and Oahu Water Protectors held a peaceful march on Saturday, Dec. 10 to demand that the military come clean about everything related to the bulk fuel storage facility.

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A fuel leak that contaminated the Navy’s water supply in 2021, and 1,300 gallons of concentrated toxic fire suppressant were released at red hill on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The Honolulu BWS said its job is to provide clean water to Oahu.

“We do it very quietly. We try to stay out of controversy; but this year, we’ve been, because of this issue, we’ve been right in the middle of it,” said Ernie Lau, BWS chief engineer.

“I guess, I’m just tired of asking. It’s time they just be made to review all the information about what’s happening at Red Hill.”

Ernie Lau, Honolulu Board of Water Supply chief engineer

The peaceful march was from Keehi Lagoon Beach Park to the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Building (NAVFAC) to bring attention to the anguish the community is feeling.

State Sen. Kurt Fevella had a message to Hawaii’s congressional delegation.

“I think you guys should spend less time in the mainland and more time in Hawaii so you can be in touch with your people and continue to work for your people! “

Sen. Kurt Fevella (R) Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point

“So, come home yeah? Mazie! Come home, Schatz, Come home Case,” Sen. Fevella said. “Yeah, Jill, you never leave yet. Stay home! Fix this problem!”

A common message at the march was getting true transparency from military officials, as well as public oversight of the defueling and cleanup of Red Hill.

“Anything that’s actually public instead of, ‘We’re gonna say something and then,’ there’s always some kind of, they’re always retracting stories and they don’t want to tell us everything,” said James Auld of Pu’uhonuo o Wailupe.

Marchers also want all footage of the recent aqueous film forming foam incident released to the public.

“But right now, shut down Red Hill and clean it. Release the video, cause we like know,” Sen. Fevella said. “We need to know, transparency!”

The crowd of 400 to 500 stressed the importance of unity by asking others to join them and saying change can only happen if everyone comes together.

“We should have been having ten to twenty thousand people here,” Sen. Fevella said, “we should have shut down the roads because I don’t see if anybody out there can go, go just a day without water!

“Mahalo, for standing up for the wai. We stand together, and we can get this done. We can protect our water,” Lau said.

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KHON2 reached out to Joint Task Force Red Hill officials for comment but did not receive a response.