‘Pride of America’ lends a hand at harbor cleanup

NAWILIWILI — A harbor cleanup Thursday was a good thing for boaters, said Philip Dobbs, because the collected debris could have caused major damage.

Dobbs watched volunteers unload planks, plastics and rusty wheels in the cove on the far side of Nawiliwili Harbor.

“If an unwary boater hit one of those planks, it could cause major damage,” said Dobbs, a boater himself. “I don’t know how the planks got there, but these are keepers.”

That was just part of the rubbish estimated at more than two tons pulled from the water.

“We’ve also got some small Japanese items, identified by the writings on them,” said volunteer Steve Soltysik. “And there’s a big heavy wheel weighing a gazillion pounds.”

Bryson Vivas from the county’s Solid Waste division said their primary focus was to survey the amount of HI-5 deposit material involved in the cleanup.

“We found some but they’re so old — you pick them up and it crumbles in your hand,” he said. “There are a lot of soap and detergent bottles as well.”

The Japanese items included some of the detergent bottles, identified by the katakana characters, pieces of plastic crating, and some small buoys, one of which indicated it was from Osaka.

Volunteers included about 30 people from the Norwegian Cruise Lines and students from the Kauai Community College.

“The NCL people contacted me to spearhead a cleanup,” Soltysik said. “This is the first one we’ve done in more than two years, and the NCL people said they wanted to do the project to build bonding among the crew as well as give back to the community.”

Soltysik said the crew was enthusiastic.

“They even brought over barbecues for lunch,” he said. “They just got into it.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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