In Windward Oahu, hundreds of volunteers hit the sand to clean the coastlines

(Image: Bank of Hawaii)
(Image: Bank of Hawaii)

OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A global effort to protect the oceans and coast lines hits home here in Hawaii this weekend.

On Saturday, more than 930 volunteers from Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines and other community organizations rolled up their sleeves to help restore five beaches in Windward Oahu.

The massive group banded together in honor of International Coastal Cleanup Day, as well as World Cleanup Day.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii says with 8 million tons of plastic entering the oceans each year, hopefully the massive clean up effort will inspire people to reduce plastic use and the amount of litter that reaches the water.

"There's going to be lightbulb moments for hundreds if not every single one of them. The beaches are really dirty from the hurricanes that just passed by and this is not trash from us," Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii Executive Director Kahi Pacarro said.

The beaches the volunteers clean up included Waimanalo Beach Park, Bellows, Sherwood Beach, Kaupa Bay, Makapu'u and surrounding areas. They removed large debris and micro-plastics from the sand by using sifters.

"The people that came out today are really focused on what we can do to help the land, the ocean. What they're going to walk away is that thought, 'What is my part in this besides just coming to clean it up?'" Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Community Relations Director for Hawaiian Airlines, said.

In addition to getting down and dirty for the environment, Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Airlines both made $5,000 donations to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to continue their efforts.

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