International Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday

LIHUE — On Saturday, people are needed to count cigarette butts and toothbrushes.

It’s the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day, and worldwide people will be joining together to pull trash from beaches and catalogue it into a database.

“The idea is, we have a problem with marine debris, the first step is finding what the problem is and how intense it is,” said Barbara Weidner, head of Kauai’s Surfrider Foundation Chapter. “By doing an annual, very detailed inventory, we have a better idea.”

The event draws around 12 million people every year.

The 2016 Coastal Cleanup catalogued 1,863,838 cigarette butts; 1,578,834 plastic bottles, and 822,227 plastic bottle caps. Also part of the top 10 items collected in 2016 were food wrappings, plastic grocery bags, straws, and foam take-away containers.

For years, cigarette butts have been the number one item taken from the beaches on International Coastal Cleanup Day, according to Ocean Conservancy.

“On Kauai, our coastal environment is different than in many other places,” Weidner said. “Our number one kind of marine debris are the derelict fishing nets.”

Volunteers will be meeting with the Kauai Surfrider at 9 a.m. at Nukoli’i Beach, between Hanama’ulu and Wailua. It is accessed by driving into the Kauai Beach Resort Hotel, through the tree tunnel and to a road on the right that leads to the beach. Signs will be posted.

Tools, gloves, water and refreshments will be available. Volunteers are encouraged to wear a hat and closed-toed shoes and bring a water bottle.

Surfrider is asking volunteers to bring pickup trucks to help haul away debris.

Help will also be needed for weighing and sorting.

More info: Robert 634-6597

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