homepage logo

Help protect marine life from litter

By Staff | Sep 29, 2016

Malama Maui Nui is calling on community groups to help in a campaign to target marine debris and contribute to research aiming to eliminate ocean trash worldwide.

This Saturday, Sept. 17, is the kickoff to the 2016 “Get the Drift and Bag It!” The month-long series of community cleanups is organized each year by Malama Maui Nui in partnership with the County of Maui to help protect the ocean and marine life from litter.

Here in West Maui on Saturday, the Save Honolua Coalition is sponsoring a bay area cleanup at 9 a.m. Volunteers will gather at the Honolua Stream Bridge.

Malama Maui Nui calls on anyone who considers Maui County their home – whether for generations or for a two-week vacation – to join the effort by organizing a cleanup any time between Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. MMN can provide supplies.

“We are so fortunate to call these islands home. We can all contribute a little bit of time to our environment in gratitude as an act of aloha ‘aina,” said MMN Volunteer Coordinator Christy Kozama.

“Participating in ‘Get the Drift and Bag It!’ is as simple as gathering a group of family members, friends, coworkers, teammates or neighbors to malama an area that you visit often or identify as needing special attention.”

A significant facet of the annual campaign is building awareness of the importance of litter prevention in the wider conservation movement. “Get the Drift and Bag It!” cleanups incorporate citizen science by asking participants to record the types and quantities of the litter they collect. (Tools and instructions on how to collect this data are provided.)

“By tallying the results of each cleanup, we not only see the sheer amount of litter removed from our precious natural landscape, but we can also recognize the impact certain materials have over others due to their respective volumes,” said Kozama. “We want to show the collective effort of our community members in support of the health of our shorelines and the many creatures that depend on them.”

MMN will submit the data collected locally to the global Ocean Trash Index managed by the Ocean Conservancy. Researchers pull information from this massive database of cleanups happening around the world each year to develop science-based solutions that aim to eliminate ocean trash and achieve a healthy, thriving ocean.

Those interested in taking part in MMN’s kickoff cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon at Kahului Harbor on Saturday. or in organizing their own cleanup throughout the month-long campaign, can register by calling 877-2524 or e-mailing volunteer@cwdhawaii.org. More information on “Get the Drift and Bag It!” can be found at www.malamamauinui.org.

Litter in any form and of any type can cause damage to wildlife and pollute natural resources. Give a gift to Maui and get trash off of our beaches.