World Ocean Day Beach Clean up at Baby Makapuu, mahalo to everyone who participated!

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This past Saturday, June 1st 2013, Ocean Girl Project volunteers began their morning organizing a beach clean up at a widely known surf spot and tide pool area called Baby Makapuu aka Cockroach Bay. This was a brilliant kick off to World Ocean Day activities in Hawaii!

We had many wonderful volunteers from the community including Ocean Training Awareness classmates (in an electric car!),  Punahou School, international visitors from Australia, Japan, France and Canada, local residents, long time fishermen, Ocean Girl Project Surf Camp Alumni, families and girls that will be attending our 2013 camp, former World Champion Surfing Professional Nancy Emerson and the hard-working Ocean Girl Project volunteers plus many others! The ages of our volunteers ranged from 70 to 7 years old.  Mahalo Doug Morton for being our awesome photographer!!

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We had a special talk by Aydee from Surfrider Foundation on “hold on to your butt” an Oahu Surfrider campaign. Important information: cigarette butt litter is a major problem at our beaches, in the ocean and butt-talk-beach-cleanup-ocean-girl-project-13throughout the watersheds which carry water, trash and debris to our beaches. Cigarette butts discarded in parking lots, along sidewalks and in street gutters miles from the coast inevitably make their way through storm drains, creeks and rivers to the beach and the ocean. Direct litter of cigarette butts at the beach adds to the problem, and they are the most pervasive form of litter at our beach cleanups. It isn’t just a matter of unsightly trash and litter. Toxins from cigarettes collect on the filter and are then washed out into our waterways and the ocean. Birds and sea mammals ingest the butts, thinking that it’s food, and a recent study showed that the toxins in the butts can be lethal to fish.  She brought us some cool prizes from Surfrider Oahu to give to the kids!! Mahalo Aydee and Surfrider Foundation we  support your worthwhile campaigns!!

anne-reef-talk-walk-ocean-girl-project-cleanup-13 Ocean Girl Project Surf Camp volunteer aka Mermaid Chairperson Anne Rosinski was our OGP team leader for the tide pools. She also gave kids and adults a talk on caring for and how to pick up rubbish near the reef.  Anne is a NOAA Hawaii Coral Reef Fellow, she is working in the Division of Aquatic Resources at the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Honolulu.

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Team Leader Billie Farrell took her troops all the way down the pier, wow! They found an old fishing net, it must have weighed close to 10 lbs and carried it back to camp – BTW definitely a Surfrider t-shirt winner move!!

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We had a great time and in 2 hours we picked up about 150 lbs of plastic, cigarette butts, marine debris and other objects. Mahalo to the efforts of everyone who came, participated and shared with us, you made a big difference to the ocean and our island..We enjoyed meeting you and greatly appreciate your support. Please check out the great photos taken by Doug!

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