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Volunteers tackle the driftwood

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteer Jack Yatsko leads a group of volunteers in moving driftwood from the water’s edge at Morgan’s Pond Saturday during the large cleanup effort at Lydgate Park in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteer Tom Worthen moves driftwood to a larger collection pile Saturday during the cleanup efforts of accumulated debris at Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteers clear the water’s edge at Morgan’s Pond Saturday during a large cleanup effort at Lydgate Park in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Theodore Brailo and his mother Ariana Brailo lead a group of volunteers in moving driftwood away from the water’s edge Saturday at Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park in Wailua.

WAILUA — Tom Worthen was grateful there was no basketball Saturday at Lydgate Park.

“There was too much weather,” said Worthen, a coach with the Sharks fourth- and fifth-graders, Division II of the Eastside Basketball League, as he scooped up a load of loose driftwood at the water’s edge of Morgan’s Pond. “There’s no basketball today.”

The weather-related rainout allowed Worthen to join more than three dozen volunteers who tackled the loose driftwood accumulation at Morgan’s Pond.

“This belongs to the University of Hawai‘i,” said Dulce Sales-Luis, who donned a UH Phi Alpha Nu Sigma honor-society shirt at the cleanup while lugging a load of driftwood.

Originally scheduled to address “dry wood” only, the overnight rains changed all that, as volunteers scoured the sand for all debris, using rakes to pull some of the floating driftwood to shore for disposal as well.

The overnight weather did not dampen the spirits of the volunteers who attacked the accumulation of driftwood and moved it to a large Pacific Coring and Concrete Cutting roll-away dumpster.

The accumulation was caused by the weather event two weeks ago, where the island was under a flash-flood warning for nearly nine hours. The heavy rains caused the closure of the Hanalei Bridge as well as flooding in the area of the Wailua River mouth severe enough to have low-lying residents and tenants having to evacuate.

Tommy Noyes of the Friends of Kamalani Playground and Lydgate said the cleanups will take place for the next three weekends, or until the accumulation is gone.

A volunteer with the Friends of Kamalani Playground and Lydgate said this might be a good time to remind people that the group meets every Saturday near the lifeguard tower to do cleanups, accumulated debris or not. The weekly cleanup meets at 8:30 a.m. and cleans up for a few hours.

6 Comments
  1. randy kansas March 7, 2021 5:19 am Reply

    the wood is pretty and natural….why are they changing the balance of nature by moving the wood ?


  2. R.skinner March 7, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    That is great that we have those who clean beaches of trash?
    Why not take care of the problem before it reaches the beaches? Go upstream and clean up the branches (and trees) BEFORE it becomes an eyesore and safety issue?


    1. Kauaidoug March 9, 2021 10:03 am Reply

      Agreed. The majority of this wood is a result of introduced trees ie Albezia. I’m no expert but I wonder what the beaches looked like before white colonization and I’m guessing it was nothing like now. Good job on clean up but clearing of Albezia would go a long ways towards stopping this lumber on the beach


  3. person March 7, 2021 8:20 am Reply

    Where do they put the wood?


  4. I saw a Vampire once March 7, 2021 4:45 pm Reply

    Why don’t they just burn the dry wood? Watch it so it does not get out of hand. Like a big fireball only it’s wood. No harm done.


  5. Doug March 9, 2021 4:21 pm Reply

    Burning the wood causes a huge mess that is more difficult to clean up than picking up the wood in it’s natural state. A big Mahalo to Pacific Concrete Cutting and Coring for donating the roll off, with out them we would have had no where to put the wood. We will be doing this again this coming Saturday, and will have two roll offs to fill this time.


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