What the tide washed in

Beach debris Big Island

These are scenes from the coast of the Big Island, a few miles northeast of South Point, the island’s southernmost tip. This stretch of coast is notorious for the amount of marine debris on its shores.

In late January of this year, a mass of rope washed up at Kamilo Point, just a few miles from where these photos were taken. The rope mass was estimated to weigh around 40 tons. Kamilo Point is nicknamed ‘Plastic Beach’ because weather conditions and ocean currents bring huge amounts of debris ashore there. At least some of this junk is believed to have come from the ‘North Pacific Garbage Patch’ and before that, Asia.

In early March, volunteers gathered 11.6 tons of debris from this same stretch of coast.

The debris in these photos is mild be comparison, but still unsightly, and dangerous for everything from seabirds to Hawaiian monk seals, turtles, and humpback whales. That said, the blue plastic soaking tub (below) on the ocean’s edge, looked awfully inviting.

Beach debris near South Point

3 thoughts on “What the tide washed in

  1. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Water is a powerful vehicle for debris. In our area of the Sacramento River Delta, huge amounts of junk pile up from boats, fishermen, nature…it’s a fragile environment with the levee system, too. Nothing like what you show here, but it does take volunteers to clean it up periodically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Graham Post author

      They do regular clean ups on this coast too. Basically, they bring in one of those 40-foot containers and fill it. They could probably fill several, but there are only so many volunteers and hours in the day.

      Liked by 1 person


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