Posted on: September 10, 2012

Free Pizza for Volunteers Participating in Ma’alaea Harbor Clean-up on September 15

As part of the 27th Annual International Coastal Clean-up and Hawaii’s “Get the Drift and Bag It” event, Pacific Whale Foundation is leading a clean-up of Ma'alaea Harbor on Saturday, September 15 from 9 am to 11:30 am.

Immediately afterwards, volunteers can enjoy free pizza provided by Porto, the flame-fired artisan pizza restaurant operated by Pacific Whale Foundation at the Ma’alaea Harbor Shops.
“Just offshore from Ma'alaea Harbor is an area where green sea turtles feed on limu (sea plants) -- and where humpback whales mate and give birth in the winter -- so your efforts to remove trash from the harbor and shoreline will truly help local marine wildlife,” says Merrill Kaufman, Education Manager at Pacific Whale Foundation. “The free pizza lunch from Porto is a way of saying thank you for making a difference.”
Participants will meet in front of Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Store at the Ma'alaea Harbor Shops at 9 am. Gloves, water and trash bags will be provided. To reduce trash, please bring a reusable water bottle; Pacific Whale Foundation will have filtered water available for refills.
Volunteers for the harbor clean-up are asked to sign up in advance with Pacific Whale Foundation by emailing or by calling (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.
The Ma'alaea Harbor clean-up is coordinated by Pacific Whale Foundation's Conservation Manager Lauren Campbell (shown in photo at left) who also leads weekly beach clean-ups on Maui and is spearheading a monofilament collection and recycling program to keep the fishing line out of the sea and away from wildlife. "All of these efforts are about preventing marine debris," says Campbell. "Marine debris is the leading killer of marine mammals, and causes countless deaths and injuries of other marine wildlife. It is something that we can work together to prevent." 
The harbor clean-up is one of several shoreline clean-ups coordinated by Maui’s Community Work Day Program as part of the International Coastal Clean-up. Other meeting sites for clean-ups include Sugar Beach at Maui Canoe Club, Kamehameha Iki Park (next to 505) and next to the Camp Olowalu sign.
Pacific Whale Foundation brought the “Get the Drift and Bag It” concept to Hawaii, naming the local shoreline cleanup after the original coastal clean-up started in 1984 by Judie Nielson, an Oregon Fish and Wildlife officer. She had encouraged 2,100 Oregonians to clean Oregon’s beaches during that initial year.
Pacific Whale Foundation offered the first “Get the Drift and Bag It” clean-up in Hawaii in 1985.
“Prior to 1984, there were only a handful of programs working to teach people about the problem of marine debris,” recalls Greg Kaufman, founder and Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation. “Judie Neilson's ‘Get the Drift and Bag It’ campaign was not only the first marine debris education program, but also a highly successful coastal cleanup in Oregon.”
The Center for Marine Conservation (now known as the Ocean Conservancy) turned the handful of grassroots cleanups around the country into an international event, complete with data cards to record the types and amounts of trash and debris collected. During the past 25 years, this effort has resulted in nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations cleaning 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers and the ocean in just one day per year.
To learn more about the International Coastal Clean-up and the Get the Drift and Bag It effort on Maui, please contact Community Work Day at (808) 877-2524 or visit their page on Facebook.
To contact Pacific Whale Foundation about the Ma’alaea Harbor Clean-up, please call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.

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