864 pounds of debris removed from South Kona shoreline

  • A man carries away a mass of net and rope removed from the shoreline within the Manuka Natural Area Reserve in South Kona. (Photo courtesy of DLNR/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • A variety of marine debris was removed from the shoreline on Earth Day in South Kona. (Photo courtesy of DLNR/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) staff, representatives from federal and state agencies, and volunteers spent Earth Day, which was Sunday, on the shoreline within Manuka Natural Area Reserve removing plastic debris, derelict fishing equipment and nets and the typical trash produced by humans. (Photo courtesy of DLNR/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The shoreline within Manuka Natural Area Reserve got some much needed TLC thanks to 30 people who made the 4×4 trek down to the area on Earth Day on Sunday.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) staff, representatives from federal and state agencies, and volunteers took part in the ninth annual debris clean-up organized by HWF to remove plastic debris, derelict fishing equipment and nets and the typical trash produced by humans.

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The triangle-shaped Natural Area Reserve located in South Kona spans from 5,000 feet in elevation to a coastline marked with a single black sand beach. The shoreline area is an important breeding location for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle and is marked with numerous anchialine pools.

The area is not as well-known as nearby Kamilo Beach, often referred to as “Plastic Beach,” for the amount of debris that washes ashore there, but there is still plenty of debris there.

On Sunday, the 30-person team removed 864 pounds of debris, according to media release from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, under which the reserve falls.

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About one quarter of the debris collected is fishing net that will be recycled in the nets to energy program. Another 300 pounds can be recycled by Terracycle. The remaining, 26 large feed bags will be disposed.

“In total, more than 200 volunteers have removed over 6,300 pounds of marine debris and shoreline-user litter from the area over nine years, during 10 collaborative cleanups,” said Megan Lamson of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.