Over 250 people turned out to volunteer for the beach clean-up in a joint effort coordinated by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Timbers Kauai. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not in the mood to cooperate. “The idea was that they were going to ski in and haul the debris offshore by jet skis onto the boats but the waves were really bad and the shorebreak was making it too difficult. It became a life or death situation. It was crazy, so they had to stop,” Nagao says. The garbage was bundled into carriers and pulled further upshore so it wouldn’t get pulled back into the ocean.
It took a few months to work through a solution to get the bagged trash off the remote beach. Enter Jack Harter Helicopters, who came in and air-lifted the trash onto the Hokuala property to be loaded into Timbers Kauai trucks and trailers to be moved for proper disposal. For Nagao, it was an emotional event. “During the whole event there was this whale in the middle of the peninsula, not diving or splashing, but just sitting in the water, breaching. I like to think that whale was showing appreciation, saying ‘thank you for finally picking up your trash,” Nagao says. “It was a spiritual moment.”
To learn more about Sustainable Coastline Hawaii and their ongoing commitment to protect Kauai’s pristine environment, go to http://sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org/