By Eagle Strayhorn | November 15, 2011
Marine debris in Hawaii is a serious issue. Beach cleanups alleviate a huge problem that our natural landscapes suffer from. Debris removal saves animal life on shore and in the ocean, and cleanup efforts help beautify our beaches.
In October, Discover Hawaii Tours sponsored B.E.A.C.H (Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii) by providing transportation for volunteers who helped remove a remarkable amount of trash from Kahuku Beach.
In total, volunteers removed over 1,000 pounds of marine debris in just two trips.
(photo credit: B.E.A.C.H.)
A top contributor to marine debris in the Pacific Ocean are fishermen using disposable plastic traps, a practice that is still legal in Hawaii.
“On the ocean, fishermen lose fishing nets, rope, and buoys while recreational boaters throw trash overboard thinking that it will just “disappear”, when in fact, many types of debris can last in the ocean for centuries.
On land, rivers and streams can carry debris far from its source and out to the ocean.” (Source: b-e-a-c-h.org)
Some common marine debris items include:
- plastic bags
- cigarette lighters
- plastic containers
- fishing nets
- fishing lines
- six-pack beverage holders
What can you do to help save marine life?
Keep our Hawaii free of litter with these easy but important steps:
- Dispose of your trash properly: in the garbage or recycling bin.
- Cut up six-pack holders to prevent animals from getting stuck in them.
- Reuse plastic bags and recycle them (or bring your own reusable bag when shopping).
- Never discard cigarette butts at the beach or anywhere else… Use a trash can!
- Join a beach or stream clean-up