Bottle caps, plastic bags, lighters, batteries. This isn’t the natural diet of a seafaring bird or marine mammal, but it’s increasingly becoming one. Marine debris is an enormous issue for wildlife whose lives depend on the sea—especially when they tragically ingest these items, mistaking them for food. On Kauaʻi, Surfrider Foundation devotes much of its time to cleaning up the island’s beaches. It only takes a few hours, and you get to experience some of the Kauai’s most beautiful coastlines. To join in on the next beach cleanup, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (808) 337-9977, www.surfrider.org/kauai
Surfrider volunteers also make up the Blue Water Task Force, paddling out to favorite surf spots to test for water clarity, salinity, and bacteria. The Kauaʻi chapter tests 16 beaches on the island every month. Samples are then given to skilled scientist Dr. Carl Berg, who works closely with the State Department of Health to identify polluted areas. On Kauaʻi the largest problems have been associated with cesspools during heavy rains and toxic runoff from agricultural lands. To get involved in the Blue Water Task Force, contact Dr. Carl Berg directly at email@example.com.