The Ala Wai Canal is a beautiful waterway at the entrance to Waikiki. The canal was in 1921 and finished in 1925. The main purpose of the canal was to drain the swamplands, fish ponds, rice paddies and duck ponds that we now call Waikiki. The canal drains 150 inches of rainwater per year that falls in the mountains above Waikiki.
Waikiki's Beautiful Canal
Soon after the waterway was built, the land was relcaimed and turned into "Waikiki Beach" the most famous beach and tourist area in the world. The canal has a very slow drainage rate which makes the water unsafe for swimming. You may see people fishing for Tilapia which is abundant in the canal, but this too is unsafe to eat due to the waste in the canal. The runoff from the mountains and especially the streets contain heavy metals such as copper, zinc, chlordane and especially lead from the gasoline used in cars. These are the things that make the water unsafe. On the brighter side, there is a well lit walkway along either side of the canal that is great for walking or jogging. It is a great way to walk to Ala Moana Shopping Center or Ala Moana Beach Park. you will almost always see somebody kayaking on the canal or fishing along it's banks. I always walk along the canal a few times per week when I am in Oahu. The Canal runs from the Honolulu Zoo to the ocean near Ala Moana Beach Park. It is a great way to reach any of these destinations and avoid the traffic along Kalakaua Ave or Ala Moana Blvd. There are lots of benches and shade trees to stop and relax along your walk.
Kayaking In The Canal
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