Keeping Kauai clean

ANAHOLA — Over the past few weeks, volunteers have removed more than 1,500 pounds of trash from Papaa Bay Beach, and there’s more where that came from.

Thursday alone, 14 volunteers with Net Patrol picked up 817 pounds of nets, pallets, tires and plastic from the Eastside beach.

“It’s a place where lots of stuff comes in on the Eastside and it was the terrain that was challenging,” said Barbara Wiedner, vice president of Kauai’s Surfrider Chapter. “We were hauling big tires up and pallets up the hill and that was slow.”

But during those two or three hours of tough work, the group completely filled the beds of two pickups.

Three weeks ago, Net Patrol took a group to the same beach and found a boat that had been broken up into three pieces, Wiedner said. That day they gathered 719 pounds of trash from the beach.

“The boat is gone now, the ocean took it away,” Wiedner said.

Though volunteers have taken 1,536 pounds of garbage from the bay and the ocean has taken back the boat, there are still a few large pieces of rubbish stuck on the beach.

“Now there’s a giant side of a container, and some really big objects out there, and there’s still some tires and a propane tank we weren’t able to get,” Wiedner said. “We’re going back to the same location Wednesday … to get some of the movable things.”

The Wednesday cleanup will be held from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be signs directing volunteers to the cleanup site.

“We’re asking people to wear closed-toed shoes because of the rocky terrain,” Wiedner said. “It’s pretty steep; our wheelbarrow couldn’t make it.”

For those who want to lend a hand to help out the aina, Surfrider’s Net Patrol is holding a third beach cleanup this month, on Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. until noon at Mahaulepu Beach.

Surfrider will provide gloves, reusable burlap bags, buckets, other tools, water, instruction and Anahola Granola bars for snacks. After the cleanup, The Grand Hyatt will provide lunch at Keoneloa (Shipwrecks) Bay.

Organizers recommend volunteers wear close-toed shoes, a hat and bring a refillable water container.

“Marine debris kills ocean life, both plant and animal, and we want to remove as much as possible before the wind, waves and high tide push it back into the ocean,” said Kauai’s Surfrider Chapter volunteer coordinator Robert Zelkovsky.

Mahaulepu catches larger amounts of marine debris because of conditions, he explained.

“Because it faces into the trade winds and ocean waves and currents, it is a landing spot for marine debris,” Zelkovsky said.

Organizers of the Mahaulepu cleanup recommend carpooling if possible. The best way to get to the beach is to continue down Poipu Road after it passes in front of the Grand Hyatt. The pavement will turn into a dirt road and Net Patrol signs will steer volunteers to the second parking lot.

Info: Robert at 634-6597 or Barbara at 635-2593.

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