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Plastic Nest and Net Patrol on Kauai

September 26 2013 | Rise Above Plastics,
by Bill Hickman

Recently a Surfrider Kauai Chapter activist sent along this photo of a plastic nest.  Not a nest with a few pieces of plastic, but a nest with "very uniform tough plastic fiber…with a few natural fibers."  Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean, but basically on the edge of the North Pacific Garbage Patch so certain parts of the islands see shocking amounts of plastic pollution.

A great program that the Surfrider Kauai Chapter runs is the Net Patrol to help collect and properly dispose derelict fishing gear that washes up on local beaches.  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.  Here's a photo from a Net Patrol cleanup last week...

On October 5th Surfrider Kauai will be loading a 20' shipping container with all of the derelict plastic nets/ropes/lines that have been collected over the past year.  They expect to load nearly 10 Tons!!!  So we are having a going away party for the loading of the nets 8am-12noon on Oct. 5th at Restore Kauai, in Kapa'a. Refreshments will be provided. The nets will be taken to Honolulu where they will be burned in HPOWER to generate electricity for the city. We need all the help we can get in loading these heavy items. Spread the word to friends in Kauai to come join us!  Check out www.kauai.surfrider.org/ for more info.

Volunteers from Malama Na ‘Apapa, Adventures Cross Country, Sierra Club, Monk Seal groups and other Kaua‘i organizations are also credited with helping the Net Patrol project.  Once the materials are removed from the beach, they are consolidated until there is enough to fill a 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 since Kauai's dumps are already full.

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