KOLOA — Malama Na Apapa hosted our annual Earth day In-water and Shoreline clean up on Saturday, April 21, 2012. This year was at Koloa Landing, a dive site on Kauai and home to many of our underwater friends such as the Dragon eel, Spotted eagle ray, Harlequin shrimp, Yellow tail coris (Soli), turtles, frog fish, the Spanish dancer, and many many more beautiful marine life.
During the heavy rains in March, the floodgates for Waita Reservoir were opened for a long time washing a lot of debris into the ocean. As the river empties into the ocean at Koloa Landing, it was heavily impacted by debris from this run off and we were not able to dive there for several weeks.
We had a record breaking turn out of volunteers this year. We had 20 certified scuba divers in the water removing man-made debris and also 10 non-divers who cleaned up the boat ramp and shoreline. An estimated 2000 pounds of marine debris were collected and removed with the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. Items collected include car tires, golf balls, fishing line and plastic food wrapers. Some of the most unusual items found included a basketball, shoe, golf tee, hotel key card, and a smoke detector. No items removed had coral or any other marine life attached to it. There was however a baby tako in an aluminum can which we relocated to its natural home on the reef and a Brittle Starfish in a PVC pipe which we also relocated to the reef in order to remove the debris from the ocean.
This event was greatly enhanced by wonderful sponsors; Kauai Down Under, Fathom Five Divers, Sea Sport Diver, Aloha Kai Divers, Puni Nani Pool and Spa Inc., and Project AWARE. These companies donated neccessary gear, support and great prizes for our volunteers.
Josh Helmin, owner of Kauai Down Under provided the use of complimentary Scuba gear for certified divers to assist in the clean up. Josh also was there to assist in ensuring the same amount of divers who went in, also came back out of the water. He monitored their air supply every time the divers exited the water and that they were with their dive buddy. Josh stated, " I enjoy assisting [Malama Na 'Apapa] whenever I can because it is a great way to give back to the sea."
Jeanett Thompson, Office Manager of Fathom Five provided food to keep the divers full of energy. Jeanett also states how amazing and wonderful it is to have so many divers come out to support this effort.
Marvin Otsuji, Owner of Seasport Divers was excited to have Malama Na 'Apapa select Koloa Landing this year in hosting the in-water and shoreline clean up for Earth day. He stated "its great to have collaboration among all of the dive shops and divers to put forth this great effort to help restore the natural beauty of Koloa Landing."
Neal, owner of Aloha Kai Divers provided the land tools and support for the land based debris removal effort.
Sarah Kaneko, Office Manager of Puni Nani Pool and Spa Inc. donated pool nets to help remove all of the accumulation of greenwaste that collected at the mouth of the boat ramp. In agreeing to assist us she states, "Its such an exciting event. I grew-up in that area snorkling at Koloa Landing and would like it to be just as beautiful as when I dove there so my children can also experience the amazing marine life as I did."
Out next in-water and shoreline clean up is scheduled for World Ocean's Day on Friday, June 8th. Visit www.kauaicoral.com for updates on this event or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the events email list.