Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi’s Kahi Pacarro says that, “It can be a remote island in the middle of the Pacific, or it can be a very urban place lie Auckland, and you see the same stuff washing up on beaches. And it’s single use plastics, or broken down pieces of plastic.”
With a driving mission to protect their oceans, Sustainable Coastlines coordinated a week-long “Love Your Coast Waiheke Island” event that focused heavily on beach clean ups.
“Why do we do this? We love the ocean, simple as that. When you love a place, you look after it. Our mission is to inspire and educate people. And our vision is healthy rivers, clean beaches, and motivated people.” says Sam Judd, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Coastlines.
The Worldwide Voyage crew sailed just a few hours out of Auckland harbor to Waiheke Island, as they were excited for this opportunity to practice mālama honua, caring for island Earth.
“We are absolutely stoked to see the Polynesian Voyaging Society Hōkūleʻa team come and get involved today.” says Judd.
“So we’re here on Waiheke Island with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Sustainable Coastlines. I thought we were going to find a lot of trash all over the beaches here that we would be picking up. you know, constantly bending over and picking up. But what we actually found was, you know, far and few in between, pieces of garbage all over the beach. Uh, I think that’s a good thing for mālama honua. Expectations were that it would be really dirty. But, obviously, the folks around here are, practice mālama honua regularly.” says Worldwide Voyage crewmember, Barbara Blake.
This active role of change perpetuated over a course of about 5 years, has not only decrease the amount of plastics along the Waiheke Island coast, but more importantly has increased an appreciation and love for place.
“It’s beautiful, it definitely is makes this place unique. Everything about it, the walk – the journey that we’ve taken so far, the journey that we’ve climbed these different rocks you know, and it makes this place unique to the people here, and they definitely wanna protect it, and sustain it, and keep it this way. “ says Blake
“Hōkūleʻa has this opportunity to share with the world that this issue is not just a Hawaiʻi issue, it’s not just an Auckland issue, but this is something happening worldwide. together, we can fix this problem.” says Pacarro.