Picking up what others have left behind

Bronson Chang
Bronson Chang
Joel Ching
Joel Ching

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Summer is a busy time for our island beaches, as thousands of tourists and locals alike head to our beautiful shores.

One group is doing its part to keep some of Oahu's busiest beaches clean.

The organizers and most of the volunteers are on break from college. But instead of spending their day relaxing on the beach, they were cleaning it up.

Around a hundred volunteers showed up bright and early, including Bronson Chang. He says he found money, but not the kind he wanted to find.

"I think I found a penny that turned green already," he said.

Still, the Punahou grad and USC junior, wasn't looking for it anyways.

"We found a Doritos bag lodged into the sand and we looked at it and we all said, this has to be from the 80s or something," he said.

It's a tell-tale sign.

"We kind of thought um, maybe this says something about the state of our beaches and the kind of cleaning that needs to be done," he said.

Organizers say because of the HI-5 recycling program we have here in Hawaii, they didn't see a lot of bottles or cans when they were picking up trash on Saturday, but they did see a lot of these cigarette butts.

"Just walking down the beaches, you see tourists and locals alike trashing it, so one of the things we want people to know, we care about Hawaii," Coordinator Joel Ching said.

They're caring enough to fight the hot sun and the temptation of our pristine beaches.

"It's hot and it's not the best, most fun job for anyone to do, I'm sure picking up trash, but it's rewarding, I mean, we had several people who thanked us as we were walking around cleaning up," Surfrider Foundation's Scott Nerny said.

No ordinary walk in the park for Chang and others. They just hoped to clean up what they could.

"Not only the task that's being done is cleaning the beach, that's really important, but the aspect of bringing people together to rally the community under something like this is important," Chang said.

They're picking up what others have left behind.

Organizers say they're trying to make this a yearly island-wide beach clean-up event. They're currently working with the mayor to get some help.