Coastal Cleanup Nets 1.5 Tons Of Debris At Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono listens to Haleiwa residents' and business owners' concerns Jan. 18 during a coffee talk she hosted in the area. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo,

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) is elated with its latest beach cleanup at Campbell Wildlife Refuge, and it is looking forward to its next project Feb. 18 at Bellows Beach Park.

A group of 274 volunteers from the North Shore to Koolauloa spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the refuge, where they reported the removal of 3,762 pounds of marine debris. Located on the marshy shoreline between Laie and Kahuku, the refuge normally restricts public access, but opened it to the group, which is helping to create a usable habitat for endemic wildlife and plants. The monk seal, green sea turtle and migratory birds call it home, but the area is notoriously hard-hit by plastic trash and other ocean debris.

Partners in the Jan. 16 effort were Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Plastic Free Hawaii, with sponsor support from Patagonia, Hurley, Sea Life Park and Quiksilver. SCH also organized a cleanup of the North Shore (Haleiwa to Kahuku) Nov. 19, which saw more than 800 volunteers collect 5,700 pounds of trash including 750 pounds of plastic that will be converted into bottles.

The Bellows cleanup is co-hosted by Surfrider Foundation. To offer help, call 221-7678 or go to