One rubber chicken, 117 mattresses, 4,159 candles, and 689,274 utensils. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all marine debris collected last September at the Ocean Conservancy’s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup®, sponsored in part by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The numbers are in: more than 550,000 volunteers came together to collect 10 million pounds of marine debris. In the United States, volunteers found enough bottles that, when stacked end to end, equal the height of 1,000 Empire State Buildings. That’s a lot of trash on our beaches and in our waterways!
This litter is threatening our marine environment, economy, and health, and the problem will only get worse unless we change the way we consume and dispose of products. There are solutions, and we can prevent litter from ending up in the ocean.
So here’s a challenge: the next time you use a throw-away item - a bag, bottle, or utensil - answer the question, “Where is it going?” How willyoukeep your items from becoming litter in our oceans, rivers, and streams?
You can also help by participating in one of our local Coastal Cleanup Days this month.For more than a quarter of a century, volunteers from all over the world have gathered every year along coastlines and waterways to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup®. Many walk, while others set out on boats. Thousands more don scuba gear (our favorite method) to seek trash below the water’s surface. This Saturday, September 21st, is the official International Coastal Cleanup Day, where you can head down to our beautiful Puako shoreline and help clean up there. Please contact Cynthia Ho at kpb.hawaii.rr.com for more details on this event. This year's theme is "Get the Drift and Bag It!". Kohala Divers and Kohala Coast Dive Club will be holding another cleanup the following Saturday, September 28th at Kawaihae Surf Park/LSV Landing here in Kawaihae. Divers, snorkelers, walkers and helpers of all ages are welcome to join in and gather up rubbish from the ocean and the beach park. Kohala Divers will offer free air fills or tank rental and 50% off our gear rental for any divers who wish to participate. After all our hard work, please join us for a delicious potluck lunch and relax and talk story with your fellow cleanup crew members. Give us a call at the shop at 808-882-7774 for more details or to sign up. You can help make a difference and turn the tide on ocean trash.