8,000 lbs of Debris Airlifted From Maui’s North Shore
More than 40 volunteers gathered on Maui to take on the very first “Hard to Reach Beach Clean Up” at legendary surf spot, Peʻahi or “Jaws” along the island’s North Shore on Thursday.
A volunteer team of ocean lovers scoured over eight miles of the Maui coastline looking for plastic marine debris. In the early morning a fleet of Jet Skis and boats set off from Kahului Harbor and headed east.
The watermen and women focused on the Hāmākua Coastline from Maliko Gulch to Waipio Bay, including shoreline of the world famous big wave surf break at Peʻahi.
The event was hosted by Love The Sea and supported by Handsome Bugga Productions, Elite Island Construction, Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Maui, and Parley for the Oceans.
Maui’s own Kai Lenny said, “Having lived the best experiences of my life on this coast line of Maui and especially at Peʻahi, I feel it is my duty to be a steward of this land and sea so future generations can live their best lives here like I have. The gathering of community organized by incredible organizations,” Lenny said, “shows the power of our impact on the environment around us and how easy it is when we do it together.”
The team was able to extract over 8,000 pounds of mostly “average sized” plastic marine debris from Maui’s coastline. That is equivalent to nearly 200,000 toothbrushes, or a year’s worth of trash for five people in the US, according to event organizers. Organizers said it is also equivalent to every resident and visitor on the island of Maui throwing a toothbrush into the ocean.
You can read about the simple importance of a toothbrush in a recent article that National Geographic published this June interviewing Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi’s Founder and Parley for the Ocean’s CEO for Hawaiʻi, Kahi Paccarro.
Organizers said Paccarro was a huge influence and major part of this clean up. “It’s heartbreaking to see some of the most beautiful places on Earth, where few humans ever set foot, be inundated with plastic pollution,” said Paccarro. “As we were cleaning the decades of accumulation, we watched as more washed ashore. We need to clean to maintain the coastlines, but cleaning is not the answer. We need to really focus on the source. We need to become better consumers, companies need to design better products, and governments need to regulate because we NEED to preserve our oceans.”
Some of the world’s most accomplished watermen, community volunteers, sponsors and like-minded nonprofits came together to make this event possible. Organizers say it was the “largest coastal clean up effort volunteers had ever executed on Maui in a single day.” In keeping with the sustainability theme, Moku Roots provided everyone with a healthy, organic, and locally sourced lunch plate packaged in ti leaf.
“We all have to make some serious changes of our single use plastic consumption to avoid creating more waste that pollutes our oceans, coastline and land. Through individual choices and corporate responsibility we can continue to tackle the plastic pollution crisis facing our island,” said Matt Lane Assistant Director of Love The Sea.