The crew got up at 6 a.m. today and made way for Chinaman's Hat. We swam the half mile out in some wonderfully swift current, hiked and scaled our way to the top, enjoyed the views and swam back. To show our appreciation for the adventure and for this beautiful place, we spent an hour cleaning up the beach. With nets and ropes included were able to remove approximately 200 lbs of trash from Kualoa Regional Park!
Per usual, we found buoys and other plastic from all over the world. Pictured below is a buoy from Vancouver, B.C. and a bin from Guatemala. Amazing to think how far some of this trash has traveled and for how long across the mighty Pacific Ocean. As Windward Oahu is east-facing, it is likely that the majority of the plastic waste came from the Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch (see more: http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/)
We were able to remove two large ropes from the beach to easily accessible trash pick-up locations where the ropes would have no risk of being sucked out to sea by the tides. Larger ropes frequently attach themselves to larger marine life including monk seals and humpback whales which can sadly die under the strain and abrasions from pulling the ropes along for miles and miles in the ocean.
Ambassador Byron had a few friends join us this morning. Pictured below are Erica who took time out of her vacation to join the crew and Blaine who just recently moved to Hawaii!
A great day was had and the south end of the beach was looking fairly free of trash by the time we packed up for the day. Many thanks to Byron, Erica, and Blaine for helping out!
It is common to find more beach goer than ocean-borne trash along the beach at Waimanalo which is situated to the South of Kahuku, Laie, Kailua, and other spots that seem to be the first and hardest hit by plastics and nets washing in on the wind current from the North East Trade winds and the Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch. Nonethelss, this area also needs attention on a regular basis to protect marine life and the ocean ecosystem.
Had a great day body surfing and was able to remove several buckets of waste from the beach as a way of showing gratitude and love and respect for this absolutely gorgeous place!
While Kahuku normally has larger pieces of ocean borne plastic and commercial fishing related items, there was a large concentration of micro plastics this morning so I got a chance to use my home made sand sifter ('Hand Picker 3000') for the first time in a while.
This is painstaking work but is such a worthy effort since these smaller pieces are commonly mistaken by fish and other marine life as food. It's important to not worry about 'being perfect' and instead to just get as much of this as you can while leaving behind shells and other ecological artifacts.
Mahalo and Malama 'Aina.