At Pacific Whale Foundation we began documenting and removing marine debris from the leeward waters of the Maui 4-island region in 2013. Understanding the importance of public involvement in educating and raising awareness on conservation issues, we piloted a citizen science marine debris monitoring program in 2015. Today, we have involved over 200 members of the public and documented the removal of over 14,000 pieces of debris. To aid in monitoring and removal efforts, we have partnered with local community groups, schools, member of the public and corporate sponsors. Working with schools groups allows us to lay the foundation for the development of an appreciation for current conservation issues, which will encourage our future leaders to cherish, care for, and protect Hawaii’s natural splendor. The debris data we collect through this project will be used to guide mitigation and prevention measures in Maui County.
To participate, simply pick up your supplies (gloves, recycled bag, datasheet) at Pacific Whale Foundation, and then head out to cleanup any part of Maui’s coastline. Be sure to complete and return your datasheet to help contribute to our marine debris database of over 50,000 items and counting.