The coastal area along the Lahaina pali is always one of our favorite places to clean. In addition to the hundreds of pounds of car parts which are littered along the shoreline, the reef is covered in strands of fishing tackle from anglers fishing off the rocks. Whenever we visit an area along the pali we are usually guaranteed a pretty good haul of trash.
Sailing with another full boat of volunteers, me motored around the corner from Ma'alaea Harbor and found a lee in the area known as "Drainpipes". As expected, many volunteers started getting back aboard with spools of fishing line and rusting debris.
In addition to cleaning the reef of fishing line, the sail raised money for Surfrider Maui and helped promote awareness towards the problem of ocean plastics. In addition to being a global community of environmentally-conscious surfers, Surfrider Foundation also spearheads the Rise Above Plastics campaign.
Giving a talk about marine debris was Surfrider board member Tim Lara. He discussed the way that plastics in many ways can be a good thing (when used for prosthetic legs, for example), but it's the single-use, disposable plastics which end up in our oceans and marine life. Lara made a compelling case to everyone on board that we can all help to be a part of the solution. By eliminating plastics we use in our everyday lives—such as single use plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, and plastic to-go containers—we can reduce the chances of these ruinous plastics from finding their way to our shorelines.
During Tim's talk, a manta trawl was deployed behind the boat in an effort to gather microplastics. As part of an ongoing research project with Algalita Marine Insitute, Trilogy is conducting the first-ever study of microplastics in nearshore Hawaiian waters. Below, you can see a photo of the clipboard which is collecting data while the manta is deployed in the water.
Food was once again generously provided by Mr. Sub and Island Catering, and it was another morning of doing our part to protect our island shorelines. Mahalo to all of our Blue'Aina volunteers for your continuing support!