Tropical Storm Darby brought in quite a bit of trash to Windward Oahu shores. We had done a small clean-up during our bike around the island last week at Chinaman's Hat (Kualoa Regional Park) but didn't have much time so focused on larger items such as the 50 foot long, 5 inch diameter rope pictured below.
Today I went back and cleaned from the north end all the way to the south end past the lifeguard tower. Several nice people saw what I was up to and lent a hand.
In all, we got four 60 gallon trash bags full and oddly a great deal of it was styrofoam which we don't often see in Kailua.
I also hiked Crouching Lion and to my great disgust found a half dozen discarded water bottles right in the middle of the trail. One can assume a single bottle could be an accident, but 6?!? What on earth motivates someone to hike in nature (presumably because they enjoy the beauty) only to trash it? Do these people not feel guilt? At any rate, I was able to collect all of the bottles despite not having a backpack by continuously throwing them down the trail in front of me until reaching the road.
Malama Aina people.
Effort: Kahuku Buoy Clean-Up
Sometimes it takes packing out just one piece of trash to make you feel you've done your good deed for the day!...
We found this buoy approximately 2.5 miles east of Turtle Bay and without a better option decided to carry it all the way back.
This thing was a trash picker's dream!!!... Polystyrene (aka styrofoam) that was going to break down into thousands of smaller pieces and work its way into the food chain after being mistaken by fish as food, it had nylon sheeting which would likely be mistaken for a jellyfish by a sea turtle which could lead to choking and death, and it had a synthetic net surrounding it which after the polystyrene broke down would have then been likely to snare, trap, and kill marine life of all kinds.
It wasn't an easy (or necessarily fun) carry, but we can be sure we did our part for the day!
Did you do yours? Get your 3 pieces every single time you go to the beach (or in this case, one massive and unwieldy one!)
Mahalo nui loa and aloha!
Effort: Kahuku Clean-Up
Spent the afternoon yesterday doing a clean-up along the secluded Kahuku coastline. Unlike Kailua with a huge build-up of micro-plastics in certain places, Kahuku sees a large amount of fishing nets and ropes, larger commercial fishing related plastics, dozens of plastic water bottles, buoys, and assorted plastic containers.
It is hard to realize the effects of using single-use water bottles or carelessly discarding something at sea until you spend time cleaning the beaches. It is tragic how much of this waste makes its way into the ocean and onto our shores.
As there are no easy ways to haul out this trash I found creative ways to position it in hopes it would be picked up by neighbors, staff of James Campbell Wildlife Refuge, DLNR, etc. Whether on access roads where I had seen state owned trucks drive past or in the rough of the nearby golf course, fingers crossed that this rubbish is picked up soon. Either way, all items were moved far from the beach so it will be very unlikely that these items will be back in the sea any time soon.
If looking for an adventurous clean-up day, its hard to beat the raw beauty or seclusion of Kahuku. Grab a buddy or loved one, several bags to carry out as much as you can, and go have a wonderful day!
Mahalo, Al Smith
Ambassador Hans Heinz went out on the morning of July 5th and was able to collect five 50 lb bags of trash following the crowded July 4th spectacle at Kailua Beach Park.
While collecting a great deal of the trash that was carelessly left behind and discarded by beach goers, he was disheartened to report that the recent wind swell hitting windward shores had deposited the largest concentration of micro plastics he'd ever seen at Kalama Beach Park.
Armed with his description of the location (approximately 100 yards north of the main entrance to Kailua Beach Park and stretching north towards Castles), sifter sticks, net sifters, a wheel barrow, two rakes, a shovel, and the screen door which we removed from my house for the purpose, Hans and I returned the next morning and spent several hours focused solely on sifting and collecting these micro plastics, finishing with 7 full buckets of nothing but smaller plastics. There is still work to be done in that area, so anyone who makes ocean plastic art or wants to test out a sifter design, now is the time!!!