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Letter for Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Time for a serious cleanup

Fewer visitors have arrived on Kaua‘i last year, but when walking along the uncrowded beaches on the Eastside, it’s crystal clear that plastics will continue to arrive at our shorelines at alarming rates. No matter how much our beautiful marine environment has recovered during the visitor pause of COVID-19, microplastic, bottle caps, plastic cutlery or fishing nets can be found on practically every foot of sand.

We don’t hear much from governmental agencies about cleanup efforts, and it seems only nonprofit organizations and volunteers are the ones who tackle this problem.

Although we may feel like we have to dig ourselves out of a hole trying to reclaim all of the revenue and TAT that the visitor industry lost in 2020, this is a chance for a transition to high-value tourism. The best way to do that isn’t to dump money into marketing visitors because social media and travel media already take care of that. We must clean-up this plastic.

We know where the ocean currents flow, we know which beaches continually get the most rubbish. Let’s use the funding that Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau receive to install floating contraptions, such as miniature versions inspired by The Ocean Cleanup used at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and create sand-sifting vehicles or beach “Roombas.”

Kaua‘i will always be a desirable vacation destination considering it’s one of the few tropical islands that the continental U.S. can travel to without a passport. So let’s get serious about beach clean-up and we can pull in the best visitors to Kaua‘i.

Jade Moss, Lihu‘e

  1. Rio Januaria January 13, 2021 3:45 am Reply

    Having lived for a few years high up in a. 10 story apartment building over looking Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; it was easy to see every morning at the beginning of dawn a tractor, with metal tracks, pulling a sand sifting and cleaning implement that scoured the entire beach and made it appear pristine for the daily beach goers of locals and visitors alike.

    To see the beach every early morning clean and smooth was a real delight. it seemed like there was no flotsam and jetsam and trash anywhere to be seen.

    On New Year’s Eve alone 3 million spectators dressed all in white fill Copacabana Beach for all night entertainment, you can imagine the sight of debris awaiting the beach tractor driver in the morning.

    Yet the beach, praia, is made pristine daily.

    Not sure how tiny of particles the tractor pulled device can screen and clean but sitting in the sand you could see only sand, unlike our Kauai beaches with just particles of wood, tree debris, as flotsam from some far off forests on continents east and west, as well as ftom upland Kauai forests delivered beach-ward by our 10 rivers, and the other small streams and few canals; along with litter and trash left behind by our beach goers.

    This letter above makes good doable recommendation as to beach cleaning and just 1 or more tractors pulling a sand screening device over Kauai Beaches on a schedule would be a super improvement to our beaches.

  2. drsurf January 13, 2021 4:44 pm Reply

    Yes, it is a great time to do massive cleanups. Some aspects of our environment have been helped by the reduced activity of cars and planes such as air quality, why not continue the good work.
    Mechanical cleaners for Kaua`i are not that practical. Many beaches can not be reached especially the east side beaches that collect much of the plastic pollution. And little is know about what animal marine life exists in the sand and whose life would be disrupted. A grant was to be written for a study before CoVid.
    There is more demand for plastic now than ever before. Many developing countries have an emerging middle class who want plastic and China is building more plastic manufacturing plants.
    Let’s clean the ocean. YES!

  3. nobody January 14, 2021 8:01 am Reply

    Please don’t buy single use plastic water bottles. Find another way to hydrate.

  4. tunataxi January 15, 2021 8:19 am Reply

    When you go to the beach take home some trash… I do

  5. Mona January 15, 2021 7:31 pm Reply

    Last week there was so much plastic pieces at the beautiful Hanamaulu beach/ was so sad,,,

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