2012 International Coastal Cleanup RecapPosted On: Oct 01, 12
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On Saturday September 15th, hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world participated in the 27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day, hosted by the Ocean Conservancy. Over the past 26 years, this event has become the world's largest volunteer effort for ocean health. Hundreds of volunteers here in Hawai'i, joined together to help clean their local beaches as part of Kokua Hawai'i Foundation's Plastic Free Hawai'i beach cleanups. The goal was not just to remove trash, but to identify the sources of marine debris, and change the behaviors that allow it to reach the ocean in the first place. Top 5 items found in 2011 were: cigarettes, caps/lids, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bags, and food wrappers/containers. Beach cleanup participants were rewarded with upcycled tote bags made from old Kokua Festival t-shirts!
Here are some highlights from Plastic Free Hawaii cleanups by location:
- James Campbell Wildlife Refuge at Kahuku: 125 volunteers collected 970 lbs of trash. Thanks to students from Lāʻie Elementary, Sunset Beach Elementary, Kahuku High & Intermediate School, and the BYU Hawai'i Sustainability Club. Also thanks to City & County Lāʻie Corporation Yard, Sierra Club, and David Ellis
- Ka'ena Point: 75 volunteers collected 824 lbs of trash with help from Friends of Ka'ena, US Army Garrison Hawaii, National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA), Mililiani High School, Plastic Free Hale'iwa, Department of Land and Natural Resources
- Kailua and Lanikai Beaches: 726 volunteers collected 1,746 lbs of trash. Mahalo to Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i, Plastic Free Kailua, Hands In Helping Out (HIHO), Ocean Devotion, Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks, Hurley, St Anthony School's Green Team, students from Keolu Elementary, Lanikai Public Charter School and Hawai'i Tech Academy, and many, many more!
There are many simple things we can all do to reduce plastic waste:
- Carry your own reusable bag and water bottle wherever you go
- Choose plastic free packaging and say no to bottled water
- Pack waste-free lunches
- Check out the Plastic Free Hawai'i Schools Educational Resource Guide for more resources