This is why we do net patrol!
Restore Kaua‘i and Surfrider cooperate on marine net recycling
LIHU‘E – Restore Kaua‘i and Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i Chapter are working together to find a good use for all of the ropes and netting that have been cleared off Kaua‘i’s beaches by volunteers.
The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people through conservation, activism, research and education.
Kamahalo Ka’uhane is the executive director at Restore Kaua‘i, a Hawaiian nonprofit with a mission to restore the traditional strength of Kaua‘i’s society by supporting sustainability, creating jobs and providing job training.
Nets and ropes come primarily from the commercial fishing industry, drifting for thousands of miles across the ocean and winding up on Hawaiian shore. Whales, turtles, monk seals, birds and fish get entangled in these nets and could die. If they are washed back out to sea, they can continue to harm wildlife. Volunteers from Malama Na ‘Apapa, Adventures Cross Country, Sierra Club, Monk Seal groups and other Kaua‘i organizations are also credited with helping this project.
Once the materials are removed from the beach, they are consolidated until there is enough to fill a 20-foot long shipping container. This year, Matson nearly shipped 10 tons of material to O‘ahu. There the solid waste was collected, processed and delivered to H-Power by Schnitzer Steel, where it was burned for electricity production.
“This material did not fill up Kaua‘i’s dump site,” said Berg. “Our dumps are already full.”
Surfrider had been searching for a good net storage location for months when Allison Fraley with the county’s Solid Waste Program introduced them to Restore Kaua‘i, a Hawaiian nonprofit organization operating a recycled materials store in Kapa’a.
The event is promoting a cross-country collaboration concept that invites children from the entire country to join in and learn about environmental ethics.
“Kaua‘i County has been very helpful with our project” Berg said.
According to Berg, some of the nets and ropes are still usable.
“Nets can be used to cover green waste in the back of a pickup, protect gardens from chickens or provide a chicken-proof layer over compost around trees, and ropes can be re-used and serve as edging for paths or gardens,” he said.
By providing public access to these recovered materials, the quantity that needs to be shipped off island is reduced.
The first big load has already been delivered and is available during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Restore Kaua‘i Materials store, located behind the Bank of Hawai‘i in Kapa’a town, at Lehua Street. If you see nets and ropes that need to be removed from the shoreline or want to help Net Patrol remove them, contact Surfrider at Kauai.surfrider.org or call Barbara at (808) 635-2593.
For more info, contact Carl Berg, Chapter Chairperson and Blue Water Task Force Coordinator at (808) 639-2968 or email Surfriderkauai@gmail.com.
Materials are available at Restore Kaua‘i’s Kapa’a location. For more info, contact (808) 645-1584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read article at The Garden Island Newspaper website »
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