LIHUE — A coalition of 35 volunteers removed more than 1,500 pounds of marine debris from Hanamaulu Beach on Saturday.
The largest item was a 600-pound Fish Aggregating Device — used to lure fish — which washed up on the rocks on the north end of Hanamaulu Bay, according to a release.
Robert Zelkovsky, president of the Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, said the rusty, dented item — measuring five feet in diameter — is believed to have originated from a location two miles off Kauai’s coast.
“It’s not Japanese,” he said.
With assistance from the BSA Sea Scout Ship “Decisive” out of Nawiliwili Harbor and Don Heacock of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the float was rolled off the rocks and towed to the beach, according to Zelkovsky.
A sea scout pulled the tow rope ashore and volunteers rolled the float up the beach and to the parking lot.
Akamai Towing then lifted the float into Heacock’s truck and it was taken to the Puhi Metal Recycling Facility.
“It was quite a scene,” Zelkovsky said.
In addition to the FAD, volunteers with Surfrider, Sierra Club, Sea Scout and DLNR removed 491 pounds of nets and ropes from the bay, which were taken to Restore Kauai for reuse.
An additional 435 pounds of miscellaneous plastic floats, tires, fish trap parts, bottles and other debris — enough to fill three large pickup trucks — were taken to the Lihue transfer station.
Material not reused will be kept out of the local landfill by being shipped to H-POWER facility in Honolulu, courtesy of Matson and Schnitzer Steel, according to the release.
Saturday’s beach cleanup, net patrol and marine debris removal was the first Surfrider event supported by a $25,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the DLNR, and administered by the Hawaii Department of Health.
In May, the Kauai organization topped the list of six state nonprofits that received a portion of $100,000 in grants for marine debris removal on Kauai, Maui, Hawaii and Oahu.
Refreshments Saturday were donated by Starbucks and Papayas Natural Foods, gloves by The Home Depot and reusable burlap bags by Blair Organic Coffee.
In order to address the more frequent arrival of marine debris generated by the March 2011 tsunami in Japan, Surfrider will be cleaning selected beaches on the fourth Saturday of every month, as well as removing larger nets and other debris as they arrive.
“They will be checked for radioactivity with Surfrider’s Geiger counter, although no elevated readings have ever been discovered,” states the release.
The next cleanup is scheduled 9 a.m. Saturday at Nukolii, south of the Wailua Municipal Golf Course.
The $25,000 grant has also allowed Surfrider to fund a pair of fellowships for students at Kauai Community College. Zena Wetzel will be coordinating net patrols and monthly cleanups while Jessica Frost is cataloging weekly debris arrival on two selected North Shore beaches.
To report large debris, ropes and nets, call the Surfrider Hotline at 635-2593.
For cleanup dates and locations visit http://kauai.surfrider.org.