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Help keep West Maui’s beaches clean

By Staff | Sep 23, 2010

Anyone who goes to the beach regularly will see litter in the sand. Cigarette butts, beverage bottles and plastic bags are among the most common items left behind.

If your favorite beach is getting trashed, join the Lahaina Town Cleanup and “Get the Drift and Bag It” on Saturday.

“Get the Drift” is an opportunity for Maui residents and visitors to be part of a global effort to remove litter and debris from our coastal environment.

The need is obvious. During the 2009 cleanup, more than 1,000 volunteers rounded up 10,500 pounds of litter and marine debris in a day.

The junk included 1,300 plastic bags; 2,000 recyclable beverage containers, including bottles, cans and glass; and 8,400 cigarette butts.

Community Work Day’s project is tied in with the Ocean Conservancy and Surfrider Foundation-Maui Chapter’s yearly International Coastal Cleanup.

Volunteers in West Maui can take pride in participating in what the Ocean Conservancy calls “the world’s most astounding grassroots cleanup effort.”

More than 500,000 people this month will beautify beaches and waterways in 100 countries and collect data on what they find to help researchers and policy-makers.

Why is the coastal cleanup vital? Litter contributes to the deterioration of ocean ecosystems. It’s harmful to the health of humans, wildlife and our natural resources.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, “Whether we live along the shore or hundreds of miles inland, we are all intimately connected to the ocean. It drives and moderates our climate. It is the ultimate source of much of the water we drink and much of the air we breathe. It directly feeds millions of people. It also absorbs a great deal of the air and water pollution generated by a world population approaching seven billion people. But our ocean is sick, and our actions have made it so.”   

Every year, countless marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and other animals are sickened, injured or killed because of dangerous items that reach the sea.

Community Work Day and the Ocean Conservancy hope Maui residents will unite to pursue a clean, healthy ocean.

“Trash doesn’t fall from the sky — it falls from human hands. And human hands have the power to stop it. You and your friends, neighbors, family and colleagues can truly make a difference through this remarkable experience of international camaraderie on behalf of the ocean. Join today,” the Ocean Conservancy concluded.

To sign up, call Community Work Day at 877-2524.