Marine debris bar blessed

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    Barbara Weidner, Ethan Alderete, John Alderete and Christina Alderete all hang out by the new marine debris art installation at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort’s Driftwood Bar.

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    The new marine debris art installation at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort’s Driftwood Bar boasts pieces of plastic, nets and other debris, and is meant to inspire and draw awareness to marine debris in the oceans.

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    Driftwood bartender Amanda Awong serves up some drinks on the new marine debris bar, an art piece entitled “Castaway.”

LIHUE — In celebration of World Water Day and the Net Patrol program’s 12-year anniversary, Surfrider Kauai Chapter members gathered at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort on Friday.

Members celebrated the thousands of pounds of nets and marine debris they’ve retrieved from beaches, the massive amount of data they’ve collected on water quality, and the strides they’ve made in campaigns like Ocean Friendly Restaurants and Ocean Friendly Gardens.

“Net Patrol started just over there at that beach 12 years ago,” said Barbara Weidner, of Surfrider, pointing to Nukoli‘i from the Driftwood Bar at KBR. “Now, look at us.”

They’re also celebrating a new art instillation at the resort — a piece that decorates the Driftwood bar entitled “Castaway.”

It’s a hodgepodge of debris that decorates the bar, a constant message about marine debris for visitors and residents who decide to belly up for a drink, and also a message to passersby.

The piece was commissioned by the resort, and Surfrider Kauai helped collect fishing nets, buoys and plastic from beaches with artist Ryan Humphrey.

“My hope with this project is that visitors will contemplate what I have done here, and take action in some way when they get home,” Humphrey said of the art piece.

He also said he’s stoked about the placing of his newest art piece, as his work is usually displayed in museums and galleries.

“It isn’t often that an artist gets to create something that is this site specific,” he said.

Kumu Sabra Kauka blessed the new Driftwood Bar Friday, and then the group dove into cake and pupus, talked story and compared notes in the progress made in the 12 years Surfrider Kauai’s Net Patrol has been around.

Nationwide, Surfrider Foundation celebrated World Water Day by releasing its annual Clean Water Report, featuring results from the 48 Blue Water Task Force labs across the country.

Surfrider’s annual Clean Water Report also features case studies of volunteer efforts in locations including Depoe Bay, Oregon; Oahu; San Diego; and Palm Beach County, Fla.

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Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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