Archive for the ‘Ocean’ Category

Helping Vans Triple Crown Go Eco

November 19th, 2013
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Helping Triple Van Crown surfers and surf-goers recycle and tread responsibly on the ocean. Courtesy photo.

Helping Vans Triple Crown surfers and surf-goers recycle and tread responsibly on the ocean. Courtesy photo.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is collaborating with Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu's North Shore to make this year's series of professional surfing events more eco-friendly and environmentally responsible.

The non-profit built custom, recycling and compost stations which will be on hand daily while the surf contests are going on. Members will also talk-story with event-goers about the impacts of plastic on coastal pollution.

Sustainablesurf.org brought Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii on board as part of their strategy to certify the Vans Triple Crown as a Deep Blue Surfing Event, which is a trademarked label for events with a certain set of green guidelines that focus on reducing waste, energy, transportation and impacts on climate change while increasing community support.

SCHtriplecrownTriple Crown, now in its 39th year, brings surfers and spectators from throughout the world to Oahu's North Shore, continuing a rich, surfing heritage of progression, high-performance and power surfing.

Throughout Triple Crown contest events (which started Nov. 12 and run until Dec. 20), including the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup and Billabong Pro, members of SCH will maintain the recycling and composting stations with the goal of diverting 40 percent of trash from the landfill and H-Power.

The crew will also educate competitors, staff and spectators on ways to reduce their impacts on the coastlines by sharing tips on reducing plastic and the destructive impact of single-use plastics.

SCH is also helping to reduce transportation costs.

Recyclables will be donated to families on the North Shore, while food scraps will be composted.

"Partnering with the Vans Triple Crown to increase awareness of the detriments of our overconsumption of plastic is directly in line with our mission of inspiring coastal stewardship," said SCH executive director Kahi Pacarro. "We believe cleaning the beach starts at home, and by encouraging the reduction of waste we can also improve coast quality. Fewer items entering the waste stream equals fewer items able to wash ashore."

To learn more about Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, visit schawaii.org.

John Kelly Environmental Awards

November 16th, 2013
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John Kelly awards print w lower logoThe Surfrider Foundation's Oahu chapter celebrates its 11th annual John Kelly Environmental Awards from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at Waimea Valley tonight (Saturday, Nov. 16).

Besides live music by Taimane and Cynth & the What's His Faces, dinner will be provided by Chef Thomas Naylor, with libations courtesy of Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Kona Brewing Co. There will also be a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Surfrider Oahu and their efforts to preserve our coastline.

The annual awards dinner celebrates John Kelly, the legendary waterman and environmental leader who started Save Our Surf and fought to protect Hawaii's coastlines from overdevelopment. Kellyl and SOS helped save more than 140 surf sites in Hawaii.

Visit www.surfrider.org/oahu to purchase tickets online.

This year's awardees, selected for their work to bring about positive changes while protecting the marine environment, are:

>> Lifetime Achievement Award: Denise Antolini of the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, Regents' Medalist for Excellence in Teaching. Antolini is being honored for her recent and ongoing research and dedication to environmental law and conduct concerning local and international coastlines.

>> Hawaii-based Company Award: Black Cat Salon + Spa is being recognized for their efforts to reduce waste and reuse building materials as well as their environmentally friendly product line, Aveda. They participate in local beach cleanups and Aveda's Annual Earth Month.

>> Professional Surfer Award: Crystal Thornburg-Homcy of Haleiwa is an all-around ocean athlete and an ambassador for Patagonia. The accomplished longboarder holds a degree in Environmental Sciences, and also bodysurfs, freedives, kayaks and paddleboards. She and her husband, Dave Homcy, run an organic produce company called Crave Greens.

No Butts About It

October 14th, 2013
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This cigarette butt, with fresh pink lipstick on it, was on the sand at Kaimana Beach earlier this month, shortly after "Smoking is Prohibited" signs went  up. Photo by Nina Wu.

Someone littered this cigarette butt, with fresh pink lipstick, on the sand at Kaimana Beach earlier this month, shortly after "Smoking is Prohibited" signs went up. Kaimana Beach is now a smoke-free beach. All city beaches and parks will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1, 2014. Photo by Nina Wu. Oct. 5, 2013.

One of my earliest tweets ever was that cigarette butts on the beach are my pet peeve. I tweeted it again on Earth Day this year.

Ask anyone who has ever participated in a beach cleanup and they will tell you — hands down — that cigarette butts are, by far, the most frequently littered item picked up. Ocean Conservancy, which organizes International Coastal Cleanup Day, listed cigarette butts as the No. 1 item cleaned up from beaches worldwide in its 2012 Ocean Trash Index 2.1 million, to be exact.

They are also a pain to pick up because they are small and filthy (they've been in someone's mouth, plus they're made of plastic, which never breaks down, in addition to nasty chemicals) and can get buried in the sand. Besides plastic debris (which you need a sifter to get out), they are the most annoying piece of litter to clean from the beach.

So it's about time that Honolulu passed a law prohibiting smoking at our beaches. Smoking is already prohibited at pretty much the entire sweep of Waikiki beaches, including Kaimana Beach, Kapahulu Groin, Kuhio Beach as well as Sandy Beach Park. Smoking is also prohibited on the grass and picnic areas of all of Kapiolani Regional Park. At Ala Moana Beach Park, smoking is only prohibited on the sandy area, but the entire park will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1. Hanauma Bay has prohibited smoking within the nature preserve since 1993.

I understand that people have the right to smoke, if they want to, even though it's harmful for their health, in the name of freedom of choice. I do believe that there are many responsible smokers who take the care to put out their butts in the trash can or an ashtray, and that not all are littering the beach. But time and time again, smokers clearly are littering our beaches. The evidence is right there in the sand, by the hundreds and thousands over the past few decades, polluting our oceans and marine life.

That's where smokers' rights stop — when they are causing harm to others and to the environment. Furthermore, Oahu's beautiful beaches should not serve as a giant ashtray for locals as well as visitors from around the world. If we keep letting it happen, our beaches won't be beautiful, but blighted — with butts. The damage extends to the coral reef and all the life that it supports.

Starting Jan. 1, all city beaches, parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis courts and bus stops will be smoke-free, as well. To see where all of Honolulu's parks are, visit this link. The fine is $100 for the first offense, up to $500 for the third. Honolulu Police Department will enforce the law, but let's hope people use common courtesy and take their smoking elsewhere.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is also banning all tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes and e-cigarettes, on its campus starting next year.

Honolulu is not the first to implement smoke-free beaches. Other municipalities — from Manhattan Beach, Calif. to New York  City have done so, too, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Click here for a full list. France's Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine, also said she would like to see smoking banned at parks and beaches (coincidentally, it seems, one day after Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bills 25 and 28).

Kudos to all of the hard-working volunteers and organizations, like B.E.A.C.H., Surfrider Foundation and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii who work so hard to keep our beaches clean.

To learn more about the law, visit www.b-e-a-c-h.org/smoke-free-beaches. If you have questions, call Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-768-3003.

Mokuleia Beach Cleanup

October 11th, 2013
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Surfrider Foundation partners with the Hawaii Polo Club for a beach cleanup at Mokuleia this Saturday. Photos from soest.hawaii.edu.

Surfrider Foundation partners with the Hawaii Polo Club for a beach cleanup at Mokuleia this Sunday. Photos from soest.hawaii.edu.

The Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter, hosts its next beach cleanup at Mokuleia on Sunday (Oct. 13). The first 100 volunteers will get free entry into the polo match at Hawaii Polo Club plus a free lunch.

October is also Rise Above Plastics month, a campaign to raise awareness on plastic pollution in the ocean. Our ocean is turning into a plastic soup, with most of it starting as land-based litter on beaches, streets and dsidewalks. Rain washes the litter through the storm drain system, into rivers, streams and eventually, the ocean.

Surfrider Foundation.

Surfrider Foundation.

When plastics enter the marine environment, they don't biodegrade. Instead, they photodegrade into small pieces that fish and turtles mistake for food, oftentimes blocking digestion systems and causing death. Next time you go to a windward-side beach, look closely at the high tide water mark. You'll find little, itty-bitty pieces of colorful plastic in the sand.

You can make a difference, with simple, everyday actions to reduce plastic — particularly single-use plastics. Bring your own bag to the grocery store AND the retail store. Bring your own reusable cup to the coffee shop. Choose alternatives to plastic, like stainless steel or glass.

The beach cleanup takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Hawaii Polo Club, Mokuleia, 68-411 Farrington Highway. The Hawaii Polo Club and John Hopkins University alumni group are offering free entrance to the polo matches with lunch to the first 100 volunteers.

Coastal Cleanup Day

September 18th, 2013
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Help keep our coastlines debris and litter free on International Coastal Cleanup Day.

Help keep our coastlines debris and litter free on International Coastal Cleanup Day.

This Saturday (Sept. 21) is the Ocean Conservancy's 28th International Cleanup Day.

So it's the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and pitch in at a beach cleanup (scheduled throughout Oahu) that day.

These three cleanups, organized by Kokua Hawaii Foundation's Plastic Free Hawaii, take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday (check-in at 8:30 a.m.):

>> James Campbell Wildlife Refuge/Kahuku — Partners include U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Kahuku High and Intermediate School Green Club.

>> Ka‘ena Point, Mokule‘ia route — Partners include Friends of Ka‘ena and U.S. Army Garrison

>> Kailua and Lanikai beaches — Partners include Ocean Devotion Hawaii and Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii for beach cleanups on the Leeward side (much needed)

>>  Ma‘ili Point Beach Park, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (check-in at 9 a.m.) — Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is hosting this beach cleanup, which includes Nanakuli, Ma‘ili, Pokai Bay and Makaha, to be followed by an after party with live music and more from noon to 3 p.m.

Volunteers should bring sunscreen, refillable water bottles and gloves. Other items that are good to bring include buckets, colanders (to sift out plastic debris) and reusable rubbish bags.

Join the Surfrider Foundaton in cleaning up Sand Island on Saturday.

>> Sand Island Beach Cleanup, 9:30 a.m. to noon — The Surfrider Foundation's Oahu chapter is teaming up with Lyon to host a beach cleanup at Sand Island State Recreation Area. Start with a yoga warmup, sign in and start cleaning at 10 a.m. Please bring your own water bottle, a hat and sunscreen.

Last year, more than 500,000 volunteers picked up 10 million pounds of trash spanning nearly 18,000 miles of coastline during the annual International Coastal Cleanup. Do your part on Saturday.

Being part of "Ocean for Life"

August 26th, 2013
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Damien "Nakoa" Farrant of Haleiwa was one of 15 U.S. students selected to participate in NOAA's Ocean for Life program at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary this summer. Nakoa with Jean-Michel Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society. Courtesy photo.

Damien "Nakoa" Farrant of Haleiwa was one of 15 U.S. students selected to participate in NOAA's Ocean for Life program at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary this summer. Nakoa with Jean-Michel Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society. Courtesy photo.

Congrats to Damien "Nakoa," Farrant, a Haleiwa resident and senior at Kamehameha Schools who was one of 15 U.S. students to participate in the 2013 Ocean for Life program at NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary this summer.

NOAA selected Nakoa, 17, to participate based on his submission of a series of essays on ocean conservation and cultural understanding. NOAA was also impressed with his research project on the effects of ocean acidification on the growth of a marine bacterium at the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair earlier this year.

Ocean for Life, a partnership between NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries,  The GLOBE and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is an educational field study program enhancing cultural understanding among high school students through ocean science.

The students learned about a wide range of topics at Channel Islands — climate change, ocean acidification, kelp forest ecosystems, marine life of the Santa Barbara Channel and the different cultures and backgrounds of their fellow participants. Their experiences were documents with photos and video. And they got to meat with Jean-Michel Cousteau of Ocean Futures Society.

"Ocean for Life taught me many lessons and truly changed my life," said Farrant. "The ocean connects the world and the actions taken by humanity continuously influence the health of the ocean. By finding interconnectedness with people from around the world, we can make significant change through simple actions like recycling. I plan to start by raising awareness and getting people to take action in my home community on the island of Oahu."

There you have it — a simple action in everyday life: recycling.

Ocean for Life more specifically brings 15 Middle Eastern and 15 Northern American high school students together to study marine science. Its premise is simple: "We are all connected by the oean and by studying the ocean, we can learn about improving stewardship of the planet and our ourselves: one world, one ocean."

The program was born in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy. Three Washington DC public school students, their three teachers and two National Geographic Society staff who were on the way to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary were victims of the tragedy that day. They were on American Airlines, Flight 77.

Watch this video to learn more about that story.

To see the 2013 Youth Media Projects created by the students at Ocean for Life, go to www.oceanforlife.org/page/ofl-projects.

Magic Island beach cleanup

August 23rd, 2013
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Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wines host a beach cleanup at Magic Island on Saturday (Aug. 24). Photo from www.aloha-hawaii.com.

Surfrider Foundation and Barefoot Wines host a beach cleanup at Magic Island on Saturday (Aug. 24). Photo from www.aloha-hawaii.com.

Love Magic Island?

Help clean up the beach and have fun at the same time, at the Barefoot Wine and Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 24. Meet by the lake across from the parking lot at Magic Island (at the east end of Ala Moana Beach Park).

If you want to warm up with some yoga first, go earlier for some Karma Yoga at 9:30 a.m. courtesy of Green Girl Yoga.

Please bring your own bags, water bottles, hats, swimsuits and gloves if you can.

After the beach cleanup, volunteers (21 and over) are invited to Tiki's Grill & Bar, 2570 Kalakaua Ave. for a celebration including food, drinks and surf-inspired fare from noon to 2 p.m.

The event is part of the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project, now in its seventh year, in which volunteers gather to clean up beaches, rives, parks and lakes all across America.

To RSVP, contact Shay Broderick, sbroderick@hunterpr.com. Visit www.beachrescue2013.com to learn more.

MagicIslandnap

Ocean Celebration — From Ridge to Reef

July 23rd, 2013
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Celebrate the health of the ocean and learn more about coral reef protection at a family-friendly event on Sunday, July 28 at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali). Courtesy photo.

Celebrate the health of the ocean and learn more about coral reef protection at a family-friendly event on Sunday, July 28 at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali). Courtesy photo.

If you're on Maui, don't miss this celebration at Kahekili Beach Park (Airport Beach in Kaanapali) celebrating the four-year anniversary of a protected marine ecosystem on Sunday, July 28.

The Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHMA) is a first-of-its-kind marine managed area in North Kaanapali.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., event hosts the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative (R2R), other non-profits, community members and partners will host a family-friendly event to raise awareness on ocean health and coral reef protection.

The KHMA was designed to enhance the population of surgeonfish, parratfish and sea urchins to reduce excess algae and improve coral health. Surgeonfish and parrotfish are herbivores that eat seawood.

There will be a free barbecue, ridge to reef-themed culinary contest, Hawaii's fist ever seawood eating competition, a reef snorkel tour with ocean experts, water quality sampling, Great Annual Fish Count and Savvy Shopper Relay

In the Savvy Shopper Relay, contestants rush to see who can sort household products based on "reef friendliness" the fastest.

RevoluSun, Surfrider clear 400 lbs at Sandy's

July 17th, 2013
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RevoluSun donated this sandsifter to help sort out plastic marine debris from the shores of Sandy Beach on Saturday. Courtesy photo.

RevoluSun donated this sandsifter to help sort out plastic marine debris from the shores of Sandy Beach on Saturday. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers from solar company RevoluSun and the Surfrider Foundation cleared more othan 400 pounds of marine debris and litter at Sandy Beach on Saturday (July 13).

While most people focus on large litter at beach cleanups, looking for cans, bottles and plastic bags left behind, this cleanup focused on small trash and microplastics that are more difficult to pick up.

Within an hour and a half, volunteers picked up more than 2,000 cigarette butts, 300 beverage containers and single-use food containers, along with plastic bags, polystyrene packaging, fishing nets/ropes, batteries, drug paraphernalia, condoms (yuck!) and more.

This year, RevoluSun also donated a mobile sand-sifter developed by local contractor Jason Tucker Hills (cool!). It's designed to clean sand by pulling out microplastics or plastic debris — small plastic particles generated from industrial pellets used to manufacture plastic products as well as plastic broken down from plastic products left from both land-based and ocean-based litter.

It was the fourth year in a row that RevoluSun partnered with the Surfrider Foundation's Oahu Chapter for the annual Sandy Beach cleanup.

July: Beach CLEANUPs

June 29th, 2013
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Several beach cleanups are planned for the month of July. After the crowds hit the beach for the 4th of July, there's definitely a need for volunteers to help sweep all the litter left behind by the revelry.

Mark your calendars:
>> 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. For the Love is holding a beach cleanup at Ala Moana Beach Park. The group, which is teaming up with a non-profit named Love Your Coast, plans to help clean up the extra litter left behind form 4th of July celebrations. Volunteers are welcome, but instead of purchasing garbage bags and gloves, For the Love asks volunteers to bring their own bags and their own reusable garden gloves. Check in is at 10 a.m. at the oceanside of McCoy Pavilion, with lunch to be provided at 12:30 p.m., along with a mermaid performance and yoga cool down session later in the afternoon. A grand prize will be awarded for the most pounds collected.

>> 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday, July 6, Kailua Bay Cleanup with Plastic Free Kailua and 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, at Kailua  Beach Park (check in at tent across from Buzz's, free hot dogs). Visit Plastic Free Kailua's Facebook page for updates.

>> 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, July 11, Pounders Beach in Laie beach cleanup. Warner Bros., along with RealD, is encouraging people to participate in this "Pacific Rim" cleanup effort taking place concurrently at seven other coastal cities. The first 100 volunteers to show up get tickets to the movie on opening weekend, special T-shirts made of recycled materials and other prizes.

>> 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 13 at Sandy Beach. RevoluSun, in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, hosts its beach cleanup at Sandy's, followed by lunch (provided by RevoluSun) and a free RevoluSun T-shirt for volunteers.

>> 10 a.m. to noon or later on Saturday, July 27: Adopt-A-Beach Hawaii holds its monthly beach cleanup on the North Shore. Meeting spot is at Chun's Reef in Haleiwa, 61-529 Kamehameha Highway. Volunteers are provided with trash bags, water and gloves. Debris is documented for NOAA and the Ocean Conservancy.

Volunteers help RevoluSun and Surfrider with its annual Sandy Beach cleanup lat year. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers help RevoluSun and Surfrider with its annual Sandy Beach cleanup. Courtesy photo.