Sept. 17 & 18 and Oct. 16, 9am,-1pm, island-wide
For Earth, one mean solar day (awesomely, “mean solar day” sounds like panegyric Pidgin–especially with the adjective “one”–but it’s actually a scientific term), takes about 86,400 seconds. On Saturday (Sept. 17), in just around the time it takes the planet to complete an axial rotation, humans will have completed a revolution of their own. That’s because this weekend marks another installment of the annual “Get the Drift and Bag It” campaign, the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health.
If this year’s turnout follows last year’s numbers, nearly nine million conscientious citizens from 152 countries will convene at their local waterways to remove 145 million pounds of rubbish from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers and the ocean–all in a single day. Contributing to this, thanks to the coordination efforts of Community Work Day Program (CDW), last year in Maui Nui, over 1,000 volunteers collected 13,200 pounds of litter–including an estimated 1,800 plastic bags, 2,150 recyclable beverage containers, and 7,600 cigarette butts. That’s a ton of crap! (Actually, it’s closer to seven tons of crap.)
It goes without saying that the trouble with all this trash goes beyond shoal aesthetic, and that the impetus of a cleanup is to mitigate the myriad ways our wanton waste is lethal to marine life. This was illustrated quite literally at last year’s event when debris-seeking divers combing reefs near Mala Wharf rescued both a lobster and an eel from entanglement and certain death.
And it will turn your stomach to see how much organ-pumiced plastic is cut from the guts of dead seabirds (by scientists, not at the cleanup, of course)—animals who’ve starved to death, their entrails filled with our indigestible excess. Exhumed lighters, bottle caps and bits of other crap are turned into (rather beautiful) mosaics, and these startling images of our waste—and worse, what happens to it—are effective teaching tools for groups like the Surfrider Foundation, one of the groups that’s partnered with CDW to sponsor the event. Other stellar local supporters include Hana Trash Club, Positive H20, Maui Rents, Tropic Water and Quicksilver.
Mauians interested in participating in this global cleanup have four on-isle meeting locations to choose from this Saturday: Waipuilani Park (S. Kihei Rd.); Hana Beach Park (Hana Bay); Hoaloha Park (near First Hawaiian Bank in the Kahului Harbor area); and Kahekili Beach Park (65 Kai Ala Dr., Kaanapali). Plus, additional events will take place on Sunday (Sept. 18) at Kamehameha Iki Park (575 Front St., Lahaina) and on Sunday, Oct. 16 at Baldwin Beach Park (Hana Hwy., Paia). All events run 9am-1pm.
Cleanup supplies are provided by CDW, but savvy volunteers are encouraged to bring their own reusable gloves, bags and buckets (personally, I like using long BBQ tongs), as well as refillable water bottles. For more information about how you can help, call CDW at 877-2524 or e-mail email@example.com.