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800+ Pounds of Debris Collected in Earth Day Clean-Up

April 25, 2018, 12:03 PM HST · Updated April 25, 12:05 PM
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Manukā Natural Area Reserve Earth Day cleanup. Photo courtesy: DLNR

Federal and state crews joined volunteers in removing more than 864 pounds of debris during an Earth Day cleanup of the Manukā Natural Area Reserve on Hawai’i Island.

This was the 9th consecutive year that crews conducted the Earth Day effort to clear plastic debris, derelict fishing equipment and nets from the location.
Since the reserve is relatively remote and this portion is not visited by many people, it’s thought most of the debris comes from afar.
Representatives with the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund say that southeast shores are magnets for everything that gets dumped into the ocean because of prevailing ocean currents.

Manukā Natural Area Reserve Earth Day cleanup. Photo courtesy: DLNR

The Manukā NAR is an important breeding location for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle and is marked with numerous anchialine pools.  This triangle-shaped NAR stretches mauka to makai from 5,000 feet in elevation down to a coastline marked with a single black-sand beach surrounded by rugged lava fields.

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In the next few months the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, its partners, and volunteers are expected to reach a milestone with nearly 500,000 pounds of rubbish being removed from Big Island beaches. At Manukā, for the Earth Day 2018 clean-up, other participating agencies were the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources and State Parks, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and of course the volunteers who are critical to these types of efforts.

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