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Kailua beach flooded with microplastic debris after large swells

By Shanila Kabir

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    KAILUA, Hawaii (KITV) — Many beach goers said instead of seeing seashells washed up – they saw piles and piles of micro-plastics in the sand, water and the canal at Kailua Beach park.

“It is crazy that there’s this beautiful beach and so much plastic coming onto the beach. It looks beautiful, that’s the only positive but the negative is how it is affecting the ocean,” said Chandler May, Kakaako resident.

Many paddlers said swells have been much larger these past few days and even after the high surf warnings in the windward Oahu area.

However, they did not expect the waves to bring in this much waste.

”I went for a paddle this morning and with paddling every stroke that I took, I could feel the plastics hitting the back of my paddle. You can actually hear it. It’s a lot, I’ve never seen it that bad before,” said Valentina Neighbarger, Kailua resident.

There were no assigned beach clean-ups in the area but residents made calls and posts through social media to ask people to come out.

Many said they want more community involvement to find out where all of this plastic is coming from.

“It’s very disturbing only because it has an impact on the earth. I’m not sure where it’s all coming from but it’s something everyone needs to be aware of and that we should address. If it’s coming from the ocean that means it’s being dumped there from somewhere,” said Nadia Wallace, Hawaii Kai resident.

Organization “Sustainable Coastlines” offers numerous ways to help clean up our beaches whether in large groups or with “do it yourself kits” that come with gloves, bags and sand sifters. For more information on their efforts, click the link below.

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