A Kailua Beach Walk

Contributed by Sandra Armstrong as it appeared in the “Currents” section of Midweek “Committed to Respecting, Saving Our Ocean” by Ron Mizutani

What came to me on this walk was far greater than I anticipated as I spotted pieces of plastic garbage. Of course, I forgot (again) to bring a bag to pick up debris. But I picked it up anyway and walked along the water’s edge. As I looked ahead, I greeted someone new. The reason I stopped to say aloha to her is that she was carrying a bag of trash. How fortunate for me to come across her. She gladly took my plastic tub and placed it among her misplaced treasures. We got to talking story and found out that we had a lot in common especially the part about keeping our ocean and beaches clean. Her name, as I found out later, is Joy.

As I continued on my way down the beach, I found another piece of plastic close to the water’s edge. I picked it up and walked with it for a half a mile and then looked down at it in my hand more carefully. Attached were barnacles clinging to the inside on a man-made shelf of plastic. One feathery creature was popping out. What should I do about this? Now we are talking about saving ocean life, as ocean life is clinging to a piece of pretty turquoise plastic. Well, I picked up a stick and dipped the plastic in the water and dislodged these tiny bits of life. The thing of it is, that even the ocean creatures are adapting to this evasive garbage, innocently attaching to whatever comes along as it drifts by.

So if everyone who walks the beach picks up one or two pieces of plastic and additionally remembers to bring a bag along to collect them (or in my case finds a new friend with a common goal), then think of how much cleaner our ocean would be! We have thousands of people on Oahu including all the visitors. A campaign to keep our oceans clean is a very good idea.

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