Beach volunteers will bag it

LIHU’E — More volunteers are needed for the 11th annual “Get the Draft and Bag

It” islandwide beach cleanup scheduled for Sept. 16.

Groups and residents

have volunteered for duty from Ke’e Beach to areas west of Kilauea and some

beaches in Kekaha in West Kaua’i, said Betty Unanian, who has coordinated the

cleanup of Kaua’i beaches for the past three years.

“But we have the rest

of the island up for grabs, from Kealia to Polihale, said Unanian.


year’s islandwide project will be undertaken by Adam Asquith of the U.S. Fish

and Wildlife Service on Kaua’i. The cleanup is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12


The aim is not only to clear debris from beaches, but to reduce the

risk of marine life and birds dying after they have become entangled in

discarded fish nets.

“They either eat it or get entangled and die a bad

death—everything from fish to whales,” Unanian said.

The event is

sponsored internationally by the Center for Marine Conservation Virginia and is

being coordinated locally by University of Hawai’i.

The mainland

organization will provide bags to pick up the debris and data cards to record

the amount of debris that has been collected. The information will then be sent

back to Center for Marine Conservation for data-gathering purposes.


year, 2,700 people in Hawai’i participated in the statewide cleanup, resulting

in the collection of 216,598 pounds of debris, Unanian said.

For the

Kaua’i project this year, the Hanalei Community Association has volunteered for

beaches from the Hanalei River to Ke’e Beach, Unanian said.

Asquith has

agreed to clean up areas east of Kilauea, and a Girl Scout group also has

volunteered in Kekaha.

Unanian said.Sharon Mitchell of Kapa’a has assisted

Unanian in islandwide cleanup projects in the past.

The state coordinated

the projects until three to four years ago, but bowed out due to funding

constraints. Volunteer groups on Kaua’i then took up the


Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext.

252) and


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