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Community encouraged to ‘Get the Drift and Bag It!’ to help the ocean

By Staff | Jul 13, 2017

Malama Maui Nui recently announced its annual “Get the Drift and Bag It!” cleanup campaign and invited the public to malama our beaches and ocean on Sept. 16.

If your favorite beach is starting to look like a garbage dump, MMN will host cleanup coordinator instructional training at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 29, for people interested in hosting their own cleanup.

“Get the Drift and Bag It!” gives the community an opportunity to join in a global effort to remove debris and collect data from coastlines along Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

Volunteers become citizen scientists, collecting data on the type and quantity of litter compiled during cleanup efforts.

Data is shared locally and entered into an international database – the global Ocean Trash Index managed by the Ocean Conservancy – that is used to develop preventative solutions to litter and pollution problems.

Christy Kozama, MMN’s volunteer coordinator, said the ability to make a positive difference in our own backyard is one of the most gratifying facets of the campaign.

“Living on an island, we are aware of how the ocean affects our daily lives – the weather, the food we eat, the activities we engage in, our overall happiness and well-being. It’s all connected to the ocean,” she said.

“What I love most about ‘Get the Drift and Bag It!’ is that not only do we get to be a part of the short-term solution of removing trash from our coastlines, but we get to be a part of the long-term goal of litter free oceans.”

Groups are encouraged to register to join the “Get the Drift and Bag It!” kick-off day on Sept. 16. MMN can provide bags, gloves, pickers and an instructional packet with two weeks advanced notice. The campaign runs from Sept. 16 until Oct. 14, should participating groups not be available on the global kick-off date.

Malama Maui Nui (formerly Community Work Day) has hosted this important campaign with the County of Maui for more than 30 years. To participate, call MMN at 877-2524 or e-mail volunteer@cwdhawaii.org.