Net Patrol and community Beach Cleanup programs began in August 2006. Net Patrol now removes large nets, ropes and debris from the shores on a weekly basis. Beach Cleanups occur monthly on a set of those 6 beaches gathering the most marine debris. Volunteers help with all aspects of our programs. Approximately 50,000 lbs. of marine debris is removed from the shoreline and weighed each year. Most of that is recycled.
In 2007 Kauai Surfrider formed its Blue Water Task Force and began monthly monitoring water quality using an EPA approved test for fecal indicating bacteria. These data are submitted to the Hawaii Department of Health, posted online, and provided to the community through lectures and newspaper articles. Approximately 30 surfbreaks, canals and streams are sampled each month and tested in the Surfrider laboratory facility. We are working closely with the DOH to post warning signs in polluted areas.
As part of the national Rise Above Plastics campaign, Kauai Surfrider advocated for the county ban on single use plastic bags and is working to limit the use of Styrofoam food service containers. Our new program, Ocean Friendly Restaurants, aims to reduce the amount of plastic and single use products in all of the island’s food service restaurants, take out places, and food trucks. A nation-wide Surfrider OFR certification program has been developed and is currently being implemented.
Surfrider’s national program, Ocean Friendly Gardens, is just getting started on Kauai. It will help home owners and business landscape avoid polluted runoff leaving their property and going into the ocean. This includes, sediment, fertilizers, and all pesticides.
We encourage everyone to come volunteer in one or more of the programs of most interest. We can always use more help.