Volunteers Collect 1-Ton Trailer Worth of Debris During 16th Annual Lahaina Town Cleanup
Volunteers with the 16th Annual Lahaina Town Cleanup collected a 1-ton trailer worth of debris much of which was from abandoned campsites along the West Maui shoreline.
The annual cleanup event was held on Saturday, Sept. 19. Due to the COVID pandemic, the community was encouraged to participate in cleanups near their home, with their family members or individually instead of the group event coordinated in years past.
Volunteer groups from Maui Surf Clinics, Maui Preparatory Academy, Lahainaluna High School, Pacific Whale Foundation, Moku Roots and ProService Hawaiʻi spent the day cleaning up more than 12 square miles including Lahaina streets, harbors, and beaches from Olowalu to Honokōwai. The effort also included a dive team of 10 to clean underwater; and a group from Sail Maui that conducted the cleanup at Hanakaʻōʻō Beach Park.
The event was also held in coordination with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day, in which community members are encouraged to take part in a month-long effort to clean the coastline. Lahaina has participated in the movement for the past 16 years with over 8,000 volunteer hours contributed to the global effort for trash free seas.
The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from local waterways, beaches, lakes, and rivers.
Since the first ICC, more than 15 million volunteers have removed nearly 315 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide.
“When you join a cleanup, you are advancing one of the most immediate and impactful solutions to keeping plastics out of the ocean,” said Matt Lane, Event Founder and Love the Sea Development Manager, “Which is why we are so grateful to all the amazing volunteers who came out today. Awareness has really grown around the issue of ocean plastic and it’s great to see people taking action.”
Water during the Lahaina cleanup event was provided by Maui Sustainable Solutions and fruit was distributed to each team leader that was donated by Nāpili Community Garden. The non-profit organization Love the Sea partnered with LahainaTown Action Committee to remove the rubbish from the cleanup with a trailer donated by Elite Island Construction. The County of Maui Solid Waste Division provided waivers for the rubbish that could not be recycled.
“We are so thankful to the businesses, nonprofits and to the County of Maui who came together to make sure that the Annual LahainaTown Cleanup continued its mission despite the challenges and changes that we had to make due to COVID-19,” said Tambara Garrick of LahainaTown Action Committee and volunteer on the ProService Hawaii Team, “It was inspiring to see the volunteers who came out and worked so hard in the hot sun to remove debris before it made its way into the ocean.”