Earth Day is an annual event held in April that encourages people to show support for environmental protection and raise awareness. This year, Nudi Wear teamed up with Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) to host a large scale volunteer effort to remove debris from Magic Island Beach Park on shore and in the water.  Magic Island is a busy park located just outside of Waikiki. It is popular with both tourists and locals who come here to enjoy the beach by swimming, surfing, jogging, or even diving.

Our main goal for the event was to raise awareness and promote the need for protection of our oceans by showcasing how much of a difference every person can make! Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Waikiki, 25th DIVARTY, Aukai Scuba, and Deco Divers also showed up ready to help. In total, there were more than 70 volunteers!

Tent and display booths were set up to catch park goers attention. Visitors were given information about Earth Day, the organizations present, and the need for action to be taken by every single person. They were also encouraged to participate in the cleanup and were provided with the necessary supplies.

Nudi Wear booth at Magic Island Earth Day event

The beach cleanup group started right away. They spread out and covered a large portion of the park. Volunteers of all ages joined in!

After a briefing on the dive plan and safety protocols, 37 volunteer divers geared up, grabbed mesh bags and cutting tools, and headed for the water. A few volunteers from the Rotary Club of Waikiki headed out on SUP boards to lend surface support for divers removing large or heavy items.

Magic Island Earth Day Event Volunteer Divers

Surface conditions were beautiful but the divers quickly realized the visibility underwater was not as great. The bottom of the ocean is very silty at this dive site. Any movement can cause the bottom to stir and decrease the visibility even more.  Divers had to be extra careful and practice good buoyancy to avoid making the situation worse. Once divers located large items or their mesh bags became too full to carry back, they could pass off items to divers with diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs).  Mahalo to Aukai Scuba, Deco Divers, and a few ODA members for providing this support.

When the divers started surfacing, the people on shore could not believe their eyes! The diver’s bags were overflowing and their hands were full. They surfaced with 6 tires, large ropes, 4 pillows, a suitcase, 7 shoes, 3 purses, a caution sign, a traffic cone, a large amount of fishing line and lead weights, 93 plastic bottles, and so much more. A few divers were even lucky enough to spot a manta ray!

Divers used surface marker buoys to mark large items to return and remove during a second dive with help. It took a lot of teamwork to remove a mattress full of water! Lift bags were also used to help bring heavy items such as boat anchors to the surface.

As the debris was removed from the water, we careful inspected it for any sea life. A small eel, several crabs, a fireworm, and a couple of starfish were careful returned back to the safety of the ocean. All of the debris was sorted and counted, and then bagged for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to haul away. A big mahalo to DPR for their continued help and support with our cleanups!

In all, 74 volunteers showed up in celebration of Earth Day and removed over 600 pounds of garbage from Magic Island.  Tourists and locals came together for the common cause of making the ocean and beaches a little cleaner and healthier.  The famous quote “Make Every Day Earth Day” is more true now than it ever was.  We need to take time every day to clean and protect the things that provide us with so much.

Magic Island Earth Day Cleanup
Garbage removed from Magic Island Earth Day cleanup

A special mahalo to Jessica Scott with the 25th DIVARTY for taking such high quality photos of the event.

If you would like to participate in our next underwater or beach cleanup, be sure to check out our upcoming events page or follow us on facebook!