Had an awesome group come out for a clean up today at Kahuku. We got five 60 gallon bags of ocean plastics, numerous nets and ropes (including one that was absolutely massive!), saw all manner of wild life, had many laughs, and encouraged a few passersby to join us for a few minutes - helping to raise awareness about the harmful side effects of relying on single use plastics and the need to clean our beaches.
Thanks to everyone who came out and joined in the effort....what a marvelous day!
Ambassador Kassidy and I got in a lovely sunrise beach clean up at Chinaman's Hat on Friday. The recent winds have washed up quite a lot of debris and this area could definitely use some additional TLC over the coming days! We collected approximately six buckets of ocean borne plastics, straws, ropes and nets, toothbrushes, fishing related plastics, and plastic utensils.
***Perfect Adventure Idea: Get some friends together and head up to Chinaman's Hat, swim out and hike to the top of Mokoli'i, swim back and finish it off with a gratifying beach clean-up!
My old high school and college wrestling teammate (Go Towson Generals! Go Maryland Terps!), Zack Hines, flew in from Denver, CO last night. First thing this morning we were out cleaning the beaches to get his trip underway. Needless to say, he was shocked about the amount of plastics that wash up on the beach here on Windward side - made worse by the heavy onshore winds of the past few days...We found many toothbrushes, bottle caps, some marine life traps, and a large buoy.
We were able to break the net and rope mass down into smaller sections and dragged them down the beach approximately 300-400 yards to the beach access where we would then be able to arrange to pick them up at the road.
It took a few hours, but it was made shorter by a number of people who were just passing by who jumped at the chance to haul a section for us. (Always so, so heartwarming to see that kind of impromptu volunteerism!) A mother and her two kids grabbed a section, a female jogger grabbed a giant section on her way past and marched it down the beach, exclaiming, 'I need the leg work out this morning, and gah, can't be a better way than this!', a little boy who walked up and added some plastic to our pile he had scavenged.
On the way down the beach access with the sections Hans' friend Cindy saw him and called in Parks and Rec. Soon Wayne and Teryl arrived from Parks & Rec and were so friendly and helpful in getting it loaded into a truck.
And then as serendipity would have it, we bumped into Joanna from 808 Cleanups who was able to close the loop with her group as well that the net had been removed.
We sure do love this town and these people! Its amazing how fun volunteering is, the connections it leads to, and the good positive energy it engenders.
If you aren't doing so already, go coach, go volunteer, go clean up your neighborhood, paint over some graffiti, or whatever else you can to be involved in your community.
Its so much more fun than you can possibly know until you get your jersey dirty!
Q: What's more fun than laying on the beach?
A: Saving the beach!
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.
Finished up a great surf session on the North Shore, and to show gratitude, stopped off at Kahuku planning to do a small clean-up.
Came across a monk seal with nets and ropes caught in the rock and coral nearby and in interest of protecting this endangered animal gathered up what I could and hiked it all the way out to Turtle Bay.
If you give back every time you can, however you can, as much as you can, you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams, I promise!
Grab a friend and go on an adventurous beach clean up together soon!
Went back up to Kahuku today after two months of roadtriping across the mainland and cleaning up in each National Park I visited (a grand adventure!)
Was able to make a significant dent today up on the North Shore which felt great. Per usual found a lot of ropes and nets, larger plastic containers, plastic bottles, a troubling number of plastic oil bottles, buoys, shoes, toothbrushes, and miscellaneous flotsam.
Carried out as much as I could and safely deposited what I couldn't far out of the surf line for a future pick-up.
Did a clean-up in Kahuku yesterday and managed to haul out a nice amount of rubbish including a tangled set of ropes we pulled out of the lava rock.
There were still piles collected weeks ago in their same positions, so took a series of trips to permanently remove a portion of the other items good samaritans were able to collect.
For others wanting to lend a hand, park a Turtle Bay and head East to Kahuku Point. There are large blue fishing bins left full of plastics that need to be carried out. It's not easy work, but it sure is gratifying!
Mahalo, Al Smith