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Beach Clean Up
The Devastating
Reality of Humanity
Photo Credit: Nature Picture Library
What was done and why?
The purpose of our group, and the reason we chose to do beach clean
ups, was because we wanted to have a tangible effect on the
ecosystem in our immediate area, rather than focus on a conceptual
idea or research.
Since the class requirement was to have weekly meetings, we decided
to use these opportunities to meet in person whenever able, discuss
our weekly activities, and to perform small-scale cleanups when
possible.
This problem affects all our local
beaches, but we had to narrow it
down by logistics and need.
Logistically, beaches on the East
Side were more accessible for all
members. And as popular
community gathering places, it was
noticeable that these places were in
need of more community service.
How did we decide which
beaches to clean?
East Hawai’i
Beaches
We focused on heavily used and
visited ocean access sites along the
east coast of Hawaii Island (Hilo).
The need in these areas is evident
and there are a severe amount of
marine debris and trash surrounding
the waterways. Most of these debris
were small plastics and non-
biodegradable materials.
Focusing on Community:
For the purpose of this course it was important to
focus on our community within Hilo Hawaii for
beach cleanups. It was evident to all of us when
going to beaches and shore-access areas in Hilo
that each has a tremendous amount of foot traffic
as well as a large need for community service
cleanups.
Beaches with more human activity have an increased risk for litter. From our
separate beach cleanups, there has been large amounts of non-
biodegradable materials including straws, juice pouches, cigarette filters and
broken glass.
Stakeholders:
Who will gain the most from our
efforts?
PC: https://www.ourcpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Fotolia_81891536_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg
STAKEHOLDERS
ARE ALL OF HUMANITY.
Sources show, there are plastics found
within fish even in larval stages. Without a
healthy ocean the planet will not survive.
(Sarah Witman, see citation in later slide)
Roughly 80% of all oxygen on earth
comes from photosynthesis within the
ocean. Ocean health has direct
consequences towards all of humanity, not
only for oxygen production but food
production as well. NOAA has identified
plastics as a marine debris
(citation included on later slide).
The stakeholders for preserving the
environment, land and seas are everyone
and every living thing. For this project, the
immediate stakeholders for our chosen
cleanup sites include our community within
Hilo as well as the animal life that calls Hilo
and the surrounding water home.
Marine life is also a valid stakeholder. Each
piece of plastic we collected represents
countless pieces of microplastics that
could windup killing aquatic or marine life.
This photo was taken on Sunday,
December 15, 2019 about two miles away
from Green Sands Beach. This area shows
the horror of humanity's impact.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Nearly 12 MILLION TONS
of plastics are dumped or
find their way into the oceans
on an annual basis.
(Bratskeir, 2019).
Next time you see plastic trash
on our beaches, think of this:
Plastic debris facts and more...
Single-use plastics wind up in landfills and last forever. When
littered at our beaches these plastics find their way into our
oceans. This is the main reason that single-use plastics are
considered an environmental disaster.
Plastic production will increase by 40% in the next decade alone
(Lim, 2018), meaning not only will the amount of plastics in
landfills increase, but more plastics will find their way into the
oceans and beaches around our island. While Hawai’i County
has passed several environmentally sound laws limiting debris
(bags, styrofoam) there is still a growing demand.
The bottom line is that marine debri damages marine life, especially plastic debri. Plastic
never degrades, it only breaks into smaller pieces. According to Lund University, 80% of all
waste found in our oceans is from plastic. (Lund University, 2017).
"Once created, plastic polymers are described as non-toxic
because they are not reactive and generally cannot easily
transport across biological membranes due to their size [16].
However, non-polymeric substances, like chemical additives
or residual monomers, can be hazardous to human health
and the environment when they leach from the plastic
polymer matrix"
(Smith, Love, Rochman, Neff, 2018)
While plastics cannot completely breakdown as they aren't
biodegradable, they can still degrade. Photodegradation is
one of the few ways plastics degrade. "Exposure to
ultraviolet (UV) radiation may cause significant degradation
of many materials. UV radiation causes photooxidative
degradation which results in breaking of the polymer chains”
(Yousif, Haddad, 2013)
According to NOAA "Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid
material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly,
intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the
marine environment or the Great Lakes."
PC:http://google.com/search?q=plastic+debris+on+beaches&safe=strict&sxsrf=ACYBGNTeDJhTO6_G9otGqcQR-
kjBRcivow:1575855294150&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjktJm4tqfmAhXyJDQIHSpdAZ8Q_AUoAXoECA4QAw&biw=1191&bih=876#imgrc=nFX0B_gtlS8EUM:
A recent article by Madeleine
Smith, David C. Love, Chelsea M.
Rochman and Roni A. Neff for the
US National Library of Medicine
and Natural Institute of Health
state that,
micro-plastics within our
food fish and shellfish have
the potential to transmit
chemical toxicity to humans.
This is dependent on a number of factors, but the concern is that plastics are
manufactured chemical compounds with many chemicals harmful to humans.
If our food is
eating these
chemicals,
SO ARE WE.
PC: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l2UKPMBf6FA/UoTo032XUuI/AAAAAAAACOE/9O2Ip3m9E0s/s1600/PC050004.JPG
Eating Animals that Consumed Plastics
One of the main concerns with our animal food
sources consuming plastics is that we then will
consume the chemicals they have absorbed. One of
the potential health hazards is the hormone
disrupting chemical BPA. WHile BPA has been
banned in some products, it was and is still used.
Dr. Mark A. Brown study showed that microplastics
can even make their way into the bloodstream of
both animals and humans. Brown discovered that
the smaller the particle, the easier it is to accumulate
in body tissue, including organs. (Citation in
following slides)
The smaller the particle size, the more surface area
there is for these chemicals to leach out of the
plastic particles and be absorbed by the consuming
organism.
Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse
ecosystems in the world, surpassing even
rainforests with the number of different species of
life they can support. The base of this ecosystem
are calcium carbonate depositing polyps of coral.
The majority of reef building corals are colonial
animals.
Corals do not have respiratory systems, rather they
rely solely on dissolved oxygen being brought to
them by ocean currents. Coral cannot survive
without a constant flow of oxygenated water.
Human activity can greatly affect this, particularly if
persistent solid material prevents water flow. Marine
debris can easily become entangled on the reef-
building corals and prevent oxygenated water from
flowing across their surface.
Photo Credit: NOAA
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Coral is also very fragile. Discarded
nets, traps or larger pieces of debris
can break the fragile coral skeleton.
What took hundreds of years to grow
can be destroyed within a few
moments.
It is not just the initial impact, waves
and storms can cause loose man-made
items to impact the reef again and
again, causing further damage.
From Pole to Pole
Litter and marine debris is not solely an issue for
heavily visited beaches. Since plastic and other
man-made materials can persist in the ocean they
can be found everywhere from arctic ice to antarctic
ice and everywhere in-between.
This photo was taken on the way to Green Sands
beach. A man stood among large piles of marine
debris, largely plastic items that ranged from
industrial uses (fishing) all the way down to
consumer bottles and bottle caps.
This area isn’t visited recreationally, aside from a
nearby path leading to Green Sands. All of the
waste washed ashore from elsewhere.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Nothing can Digest Plastic
Plastics cannot be digested, so while a plastic may
be small enough for an to consume they cannot
digest the plastics. Likely, the animal would be
unable to pass the plastics as well depending on the
size of the animal and the plastic they consumed.
This leads to animals living with plastic inside their
stomachs. Animals can face a number of different
health issues including blockages, leaching of
chemicals from the plastic as well as death.
This albatross was photographed on Midway Atoll.
One of the main issues with albatross is that they
are remarkably amenable when it comes to food
sources. They have no ability to discern between
plastic and food (Citation in following slides)
Believing they are eating krill, the plastics are
consumed.
Photo Credit: Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Endangered Species are Most at Risk
According to Sea Turtle Conservancy, “it is
estimated that there are 100 million tons of
plastic in oceans around the world. It is
expected that another 60 billion pounds will be
produced this year alone. In some areas, the
buildup of plastics is estimated to span 5
million square miles. To put it into
perspective, that is the equivalent of the area
of the U.S. plus India.”
One of the major issues with sea turtles is that
they have downward facing spikes in their
throats which prevents regurgitation. When
plastics are consumed, it can be fatal. Plastic
bags, fishing line as well as larger pieces of
plastic cannot be digester or passed.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Hawaiian Monk Seal
The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species and
one of only two monk seal species still in existence. It is
the most endangered seal species within the United
States.
Their habitat, as well as nursery grounds for raising
pups have become invaded with large amounts of
marine debris. Pup (and adult) injury and death can be
a result of entanglement from fishing filament, bags,
netting and other materials. (Boland and Bull, 2003)
Hawaiian monk seals require shallow reef and beach
environments to reproduce and survive. Unfortunately,
these are some of the most densely polluted and debris
filled areas due to human activity.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Commercial Fishing VS Survival
Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Commercial Fishing in Hawaii
Commercial fishing is one of the largest producers
of marine debris, creating derelict fishing gear that
freely ensnares marine life.
Within surveyed and cleaned reefs within the
Hawaiian islands, it was discovered that trawl
netting was significantly more common than any
other form of marine debris. It accounted for 84%
of all debris within the surveyed reefs in Hawaii.
(Boland and Bull, 2003)
According to NOAA, an estimated 52 metric tons of
derelict fishing gear collects within Hawaiian reefs
on a yearly basis.
Photo Credit: NOAA
Recreational Fishing
The plastic filament we use within recreational
fishing holds the potential to be destructive in
marine habitats. Ensnarement can easily create
wounds in marine animals, cut off circulation or
physically attach an animal to a stationary item.
In this photo, a casting net ensnares a group of
freshly hatched of sea turtles as they come out of
their nest, preventing them from getting more
than a few inches away from their mother’s
original egg-laying location.
Photo Credit: Phys.org
Tourism
The island of Hawaii has and likely will continue to be a
world renowned destination for travel.
In 2017 9.3 million people visited the state, while the
island of Hawaii had 1.8 million tourists which
represented a 14% increase from 2016. (Jones, 2018)
This is in comparison to the 149,000 people who call the
Big Island home permanently.
This significantly raises the amount of trash produced on
the Big Island. Further, tourists are more likely to utilize
single-use items such as utensils, food packaging,
straws and bottles. According to the EPA, the average
Americans produce 4.4 pounds of trash per day. If the
average stay is 7 days, tourists produced nearly 55.5
million pounds of trash in 2017 alone.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
The Benefit of Marine Debris
Marine debris itself is largely detrimental to the
environment, but this is not true for all persistent man-
made materials. Shipwrecks offer a suitable substrate
for marine life to grow and appropriate shelter for marine
life to thrive. They provide a large artificial reef-structure.
These structures create a new environment in addition
to what already exists.
A featureless ocean bottom of sand or substrate is not
an ideal location for fish or invertebrates to live as there
is no shelter or protection. Shipwrecks offer an instant
habitat where fish can live, they also offer the possibility
of giving a substrate for coral to begin growing on
(depending on depth due to photosynthesis
requirements and lower light levels at deeper depths).
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Success was achieved by
utilizing communication in a
group setting while
concurrently working to help
the community.
What methods did we use in our
efforts to measure our success?
● We tracked the amounts of
trash we were able to collect at
each mini clean up and at our
final cleanup.
● We interacted with members of
the public during each clean up
to assess the overall impact
that our presence had on them.
Communication within our team
Communication in itself was a challenge.
Group dynamics, logistics, and personalities
occasionally made things more difficult.
Our success was measured by our abilities to
work as a team. Due to the size of our group,
we often had issues with scheduling and
communication. Flexibility and determination
were important factors in maintaining
efficiency and cooperation amongst all six
members.
Proper Communication
Group communication in itself holds a much
different dynamic from other forms of
communication. For this project, there were
many ideas and some very meaningful
discussions that lead to effective group
decision-making. In many cases, we found it
was important to hold votes with all present
members when making decisions. This allowed
for everyone to be heard, while maximizing
productivity. This also limited any hard feelings
as no one person was solely making every
decision. Within this dynamic, it was important
for every member to be able to effectively
communicate their ideas and goals.
Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
Communication outside of the team
As our group cleaned, we also made sure
that we communicated with others outside
our group (beachgoers, other volunteers,
etc).
The impact of visually seeing our team work
to remove trash and the vocal interaction
with others on the importance of disposing
trash correctly were beneficial in leaving a
lasting impression.
Our success was measured by our ability to
make them think of us and our efforts long
after the day is done and each time they visit
these beaches in the future.
Relating to
sustainability,
communication,
& culture.
15
25
35
22
In relation to sustainability
our group worked hard to
assure that even the
smallest pieces of trash
were picked up to build
resilience into our
ecosystem.
Communication can always
be a struggle. Whether it be
misunderstandings or
misinterpretations, we learned
that the ability to move
forward to get the job done
was crucial to accomplishing
our mutual goal.
The ocean was particularly
significant to Ancient
Hawaiian culture. Hawaiians
have historically “understood
the importance of managing
the islands and waters as
inextricably connected to one
another.
(Papahanumokuakea, 2019)
What Really is Recycling? Thermoplastic VS Thermoset
Many believe plastics can simply be heated, melted, then reformed to create another object. Well, for thermoplastics, this can be true
with the addition of new, virgin material. However, thermoset plastic has chemical additives that help turn a liquid (crude oil) to a solid,
creating irreversible chemical bonds. These chemicals transform and are no longer viable when heated.
Not all plastic is even recyclable. For instance, straws and plastic bags aren’t recyclable at all. There are seven different classes of
plastics, rated from #1 to #7. #1 is recyclable, but potentially hazardous to humans if left in the sun (never leave water bottles in direct
sunlight) while #7 can include completely non-recyclable or PLA plastic which is derived from corn.
PLA plastic as well isn’t all that we may hope. While PLA can be composted in extraordinarily precise compositing environment of 140
degrees continual temperatures for ten days with the exact species of microorganisms capable of breaking PLA down. In the United
States, only 113 facilities are capable of composting PLA, and only 25% of them accept household recycling.
According to a recent article by National Geographic, coffee cups, particularly the ones utilized by Starbucks are largely non-recyclable
despite claims to the contrary unless an extremely specialized machine (that most recycling plants do not have) is used. Recycling
simply isn’t as simple as it seems, and in many cases even recycled plastics require virgin materials to be added in order to create
another plastic item. (citations in following slides)
Where is Away?
What do we do when we have rubbish that needs to
go somewhere else? We throw it away. Where
exactly is “away?”
The reality is that “away” doesn’t take care of
anything. Away simply means we no longer have to
look at the very trash we produced.
What needs to be re-framed within our minds is that
there is no “away” there is no way for much of our
waste to biodegrade (including glass and plastics).
There is no away. It’s all just still here.
Photo Credit: National Geographic India
Aha!
Our discoveries!
What did we learn from this project?
1. The value and importance of
communicating effectively with
one another.
2. What it truly means to be a
sustainable community.
3. That you can learn and have fun at
the same time!
What will we do next?
Participating in this project has taught us
the importance of not only protecting our
environment, but communicating to
others the importance of protecting our
environment.
We can make a difference, and for us,
this is only the beginning.
From Left to Right: Leimana, Tim, Fera,
Nick, Abel, and Ka’iulani w/her keiki.
Citations:
Lim, X. Z. (2019, February 28). Big Business Wants You To Think It's Fixing The Plastic Crisis. Don't Buy It.
Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/big-business-plastic-waste-
trash_n_5c1abc64e4b0407e9076c30e.
Study finds nanoplastics to negatively affect aquatic animals. (2017, December 19). Retrieved from
https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/study-finds-nanoplastics-to-negatively-affect-aquatic-animals.
Bratskeir, K. (2019, February 28). New Study Finds Plastic In 50 Dead Whales, Dolphins, Seals. Retrieved
from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/plastic-study-dead-whales-dolphins-
seals_n_5c52f53ce4b04f8645c82cfe?guccounter=1.
Additional supplemental citations:
Witman, S. (2017, September 13). World's Biggest Oxygen Producers Living in Swirling Ocean Waters. Retrieved from
https://eos.org/research-spotlights/worlds-biggest-oxygen-producers-living-in-swirling-ocean-waters.
NOAA. (2019)(n.d.). Marine Debris Program: Impacts. Retrieved from https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/discover-issue/impacts.
NOAA, US Department of Commerce, & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2008, November 14). What is
marine debris? Retrieved from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/marinedebris.html.
Smith, M., Love, D. C., Rochman, C. M., & Neff, R. A. (2018). Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health.
Current Environmental Health Reports, 5(3), 375–386. doi: 10.1007/s40572-018-0206-z
Yousif, E., & Haddad, R. (2013). Photodegradation and photostabilization of polymers, especially polystyrene: review.
SpringerPlus, 2(1). doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-398
NOAA. (2017, August 9). How Marine Debris is Impacting Marine Animals. Retrieved from
https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/about/media/how-marine-debris-impacting-marine-animals.html
Browne, M. A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T. S., Lowe, D. M., & Thompson, R. C. (2008). Ingested Microscopic Plastic Translocates to
the Circulatory System of the Mussel,Mytilus edulis(L.). Environmental Science & Technology
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es800249a
Additional supplemental citations: continued
Gill, V. (2018, June 23). Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/science-
environment-44579422.
Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-
threats-marine-debris/.
Boland, R. C., Donohue, M. J., & Bull, M. P. (2003). Marine debris accumulation in the nearshore marine habitat of the endangered
Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi 1999–2001. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 46(11), 1385–1394. doi: 10.1016/s0025-
326x(03)00291-1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/14607537/
Noaa. (n.d.). Removal and Research: The Marine Debris Team Strikes Again. Retrieved from https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-
story/removal-and-research-marine-debris-team-strikes-again.
Harvey, C. (2019, April 29). Hawaii's beloved beaches are covered in huge amounts of plastic, survey finds. Retrieved from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/04/hawaiis-beloved-beaches-are-covered-in-huge-amounts-of-
plastic-survey-finds/.
Additional supplemental citations: continued
Jones, J. (2018, February 8). The 9.3 million people who visited Hawaii last year paid more for their hotels. So will you. Retrieved from
https://www.latimes.com/travel/hawaii/la-tr-hawaii-hotel-prices-incease-as-does-tourism-20180207-story.html.
EPA. (n.d.). Municipal Solid Waste. Retrieved from https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/.
Sedaghat, L. (2018, April 13). 7 Things You Didn't Know About Plastic (and Recycling). Retrieved from
https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/04/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-plastic-and-recycling/.
Royte, E. (2006, August 1). Corn Plastic to the Rescue. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/corn-plastic-
to-the-rescue-126404720/.
Anthony, N. (n.d.). Cultural Research and Significance. Retrieved from https://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/heritage/.

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Team Beach Clean Up

  • 2. The Devastating Reality of Humanity Photo Credit: Nature Picture Library
  • 3. What was done and why? The purpose of our group, and the reason we chose to do beach clean ups, was because we wanted to have a tangible effect on the ecosystem in our immediate area, rather than focus on a conceptual idea or research. Since the class requirement was to have weekly meetings, we decided to use these opportunities to meet in person whenever able, discuss our weekly activities, and to perform small-scale cleanups when possible.
  • 4. This problem affects all our local beaches, but we had to narrow it down by logistics and need. Logistically, beaches on the East Side were more accessible for all members. And as popular community gathering places, it was noticeable that these places were in need of more community service. How did we decide which beaches to clean?
  • 5. East Hawai’i Beaches We focused on heavily used and visited ocean access sites along the east coast of Hawaii Island (Hilo). The need in these areas is evident and there are a severe amount of marine debris and trash surrounding the waterways. Most of these debris were small plastics and non- biodegradable materials.
  • 6. Focusing on Community: For the purpose of this course it was important to focus on our community within Hilo Hawaii for beach cleanups. It was evident to all of us when going to beaches and shore-access areas in Hilo that each has a tremendous amount of foot traffic as well as a large need for community service cleanups. Beaches with more human activity have an increased risk for litter. From our separate beach cleanups, there has been large amounts of non- biodegradable materials including straws, juice pouches, cigarette filters and broken glass.
  • 7. Stakeholders: Who will gain the most from our efforts?
  • 8. PC: https://www.ourcpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Fotolia_81891536_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg STAKEHOLDERS ARE ALL OF HUMANITY. Sources show, there are plastics found within fish even in larval stages. Without a healthy ocean the planet will not survive. (Sarah Witman, see citation in later slide) Roughly 80% of all oxygen on earth comes from photosynthesis within the ocean. Ocean health has direct consequences towards all of humanity, not only for oxygen production but food production as well. NOAA has identified plastics as a marine debris (citation included on later slide).
  • 9. The stakeholders for preserving the environment, land and seas are everyone and every living thing. For this project, the immediate stakeholders for our chosen cleanup sites include our community within Hilo as well as the animal life that calls Hilo and the surrounding water home. Marine life is also a valid stakeholder. Each piece of plastic we collected represents countless pieces of microplastics that could windup killing aquatic or marine life. This photo was taken on Sunday, December 15, 2019 about two miles away from Green Sands Beach. This area shows the horror of humanity's impact. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 10. Nearly 12 MILLION TONS of plastics are dumped or find their way into the oceans on an annual basis. (Bratskeir, 2019). Next time you see plastic trash on our beaches, think of this:
  • 11. Plastic debris facts and more... Single-use plastics wind up in landfills and last forever. When littered at our beaches these plastics find their way into our oceans. This is the main reason that single-use plastics are considered an environmental disaster. Plastic production will increase by 40% in the next decade alone (Lim, 2018), meaning not only will the amount of plastics in landfills increase, but more plastics will find their way into the oceans and beaches around our island. While Hawai’i County has passed several environmentally sound laws limiting debris (bags, styrofoam) there is still a growing demand. The bottom line is that marine debri damages marine life, especially plastic debri. Plastic never degrades, it only breaks into smaller pieces. According to Lund University, 80% of all waste found in our oceans is from plastic. (Lund University, 2017).
  • 12. "Once created, plastic polymers are described as non-toxic because they are not reactive and generally cannot easily transport across biological membranes due to their size [16]. However, non-polymeric substances, like chemical additives or residual monomers, can be hazardous to human health and the environment when they leach from the plastic polymer matrix" (Smith, Love, Rochman, Neff, 2018) While plastics cannot completely breakdown as they aren't biodegradable, they can still degrade. Photodegradation is one of the few ways plastics degrade. "Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation may cause significant degradation of many materials. UV radiation causes photooxidative degradation which results in breaking of the polymer chains” (Yousif, Haddad, 2013)
  • 13. According to NOAA "Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes." PC:http://google.com/search?q=plastic+debris+on+beaches&safe=strict&sxsrf=ACYBGNTeDJhTO6_G9otGqcQR- kjBRcivow:1575855294150&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjktJm4tqfmAhXyJDQIHSpdAZ8Q_AUoAXoECA4QAw&biw=1191&bih=876#imgrc=nFX0B_gtlS8EUM:
  • 14. A recent article by Madeleine Smith, David C. Love, Chelsea M. Rochman and Roni A. Neff for the US National Library of Medicine and Natural Institute of Health state that, micro-plastics within our food fish and shellfish have the potential to transmit chemical toxicity to humans. This is dependent on a number of factors, but the concern is that plastics are manufactured chemical compounds with many chemicals harmful to humans.
  • 15. If our food is eating these chemicals, SO ARE WE. PC: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l2UKPMBf6FA/UoTo032XUuI/AAAAAAAACOE/9O2Ip3m9E0s/s1600/PC050004.JPG
  • 16. Eating Animals that Consumed Plastics One of the main concerns with our animal food sources consuming plastics is that we then will consume the chemicals they have absorbed. One of the potential health hazards is the hormone disrupting chemical BPA. WHile BPA has been banned in some products, it was and is still used. Dr. Mark A. Brown study showed that microplastics can even make their way into the bloodstream of both animals and humans. Brown discovered that the smaller the particle, the easier it is to accumulate in body tissue, including organs. (Citation in following slides) The smaller the particle size, the more surface area there is for these chemicals to leach out of the plastic particles and be absorbed by the consuming organism.
  • 17. Coral Reefs Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, surpassing even rainforests with the number of different species of life they can support. The base of this ecosystem are calcium carbonate depositing polyps of coral. The majority of reef building corals are colonial animals. Corals do not have respiratory systems, rather they rely solely on dissolved oxygen being brought to them by ocean currents. Coral cannot survive without a constant flow of oxygenated water. Human activity can greatly affect this, particularly if persistent solid material prevents water flow. Marine debris can easily become entangled on the reef- building corals and prevent oxygenated water from flowing across their surface. Photo Credit: NOAA
  • 18. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski Coral is also very fragile. Discarded nets, traps or larger pieces of debris can break the fragile coral skeleton. What took hundreds of years to grow can be destroyed within a few moments. It is not just the initial impact, waves and storms can cause loose man-made items to impact the reef again and again, causing further damage.
  • 19. From Pole to Pole Litter and marine debris is not solely an issue for heavily visited beaches. Since plastic and other man-made materials can persist in the ocean they can be found everywhere from arctic ice to antarctic ice and everywhere in-between. This photo was taken on the way to Green Sands beach. A man stood among large piles of marine debris, largely plastic items that ranged from industrial uses (fishing) all the way down to consumer bottles and bottle caps. This area isn’t visited recreationally, aside from a nearby path leading to Green Sands. All of the waste washed ashore from elsewhere. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 20. Nothing can Digest Plastic Plastics cannot be digested, so while a plastic may be small enough for an to consume they cannot digest the plastics. Likely, the animal would be unable to pass the plastics as well depending on the size of the animal and the plastic they consumed. This leads to animals living with plastic inside their stomachs. Animals can face a number of different health issues including blockages, leaching of chemicals from the plastic as well as death. This albatross was photographed on Midway Atoll. One of the main issues with albatross is that they are remarkably amenable when it comes to food sources. They have no ability to discern between plastic and food (Citation in following slides) Believing they are eating krill, the plastics are consumed. Photo Credit: Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
  • 21. Endangered Species are Most at Risk According to Sea Turtle Conservancy, “it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world. It is expected that another 60 billion pounds will be produced this year alone. In some areas, the buildup of plastics is estimated to span 5 million square miles. To put it into perspective, that is the equivalent of the area of the U.S. plus India.” One of the major issues with sea turtles is that they have downward facing spikes in their throats which prevents regurgitation. When plastics are consumed, it can be fatal. Plastic bags, fishing line as well as larger pieces of plastic cannot be digester or passed. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 22. Hawaiian Monk Seal The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species and one of only two monk seal species still in existence. It is the most endangered seal species within the United States. Their habitat, as well as nursery grounds for raising pups have become invaded with large amounts of marine debris. Pup (and adult) injury and death can be a result of entanglement from fishing filament, bags, netting and other materials. (Boland and Bull, 2003) Hawaiian monk seals require shallow reef and beach environments to reproduce and survive. Unfortunately, these are some of the most densely polluted and debris filled areas due to human activity. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 23. Commercial Fishing VS Survival Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 24. Commercial Fishing in Hawaii Commercial fishing is one of the largest producers of marine debris, creating derelict fishing gear that freely ensnares marine life. Within surveyed and cleaned reefs within the Hawaiian islands, it was discovered that trawl netting was significantly more common than any other form of marine debris. It accounted for 84% of all debris within the surveyed reefs in Hawaii. (Boland and Bull, 2003) According to NOAA, an estimated 52 metric tons of derelict fishing gear collects within Hawaiian reefs on a yearly basis. Photo Credit: NOAA
  • 25. Recreational Fishing The plastic filament we use within recreational fishing holds the potential to be destructive in marine habitats. Ensnarement can easily create wounds in marine animals, cut off circulation or physically attach an animal to a stationary item. In this photo, a casting net ensnares a group of freshly hatched of sea turtles as they come out of their nest, preventing them from getting more than a few inches away from their mother’s original egg-laying location. Photo Credit: Phys.org
  • 26. Tourism The island of Hawaii has and likely will continue to be a world renowned destination for travel. In 2017 9.3 million people visited the state, while the island of Hawaii had 1.8 million tourists which represented a 14% increase from 2016. (Jones, 2018) This is in comparison to the 149,000 people who call the Big Island home permanently. This significantly raises the amount of trash produced on the Big Island. Further, tourists are more likely to utilize single-use items such as utensils, food packaging, straws and bottles. According to the EPA, the average Americans produce 4.4 pounds of trash per day. If the average stay is 7 days, tourists produced nearly 55.5 million pounds of trash in 2017 alone. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 27. The Benefit of Marine Debris Marine debris itself is largely detrimental to the environment, but this is not true for all persistent man- made materials. Shipwrecks offer a suitable substrate for marine life to grow and appropriate shelter for marine life to thrive. They provide a large artificial reef-structure. These structures create a new environment in addition to what already exists. A featureless ocean bottom of sand or substrate is not an ideal location for fish or invertebrates to live as there is no shelter or protection. Shipwrecks offer an instant habitat where fish can live, they also offer the possibility of giving a substrate for coral to begin growing on (depending on depth due to photosynthesis requirements and lower light levels at deeper depths). Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 28. Success was achieved by utilizing communication in a group setting while concurrently working to help the community. What methods did we use in our efforts to measure our success? ● We tracked the amounts of trash we were able to collect at each mini clean up and at our final cleanup. ● We interacted with members of the public during each clean up to assess the overall impact that our presence had on them.
  • 29. Communication within our team Communication in itself was a challenge. Group dynamics, logistics, and personalities occasionally made things more difficult. Our success was measured by our abilities to work as a team. Due to the size of our group, we often had issues with scheduling and communication. Flexibility and determination were important factors in maintaining efficiency and cooperation amongst all six members.
  • 30. Proper Communication Group communication in itself holds a much different dynamic from other forms of communication. For this project, there were many ideas and some very meaningful discussions that lead to effective group decision-making. In many cases, we found it was important to hold votes with all present members when making decisions. This allowed for everyone to be heard, while maximizing productivity. This also limited any hard feelings as no one person was solely making every decision. Within this dynamic, it was important for every member to be able to effectively communicate their ideas and goals. Photo Credit: Tim Yakubowski
  • 31. Communication outside of the team As our group cleaned, we also made sure that we communicated with others outside our group (beachgoers, other volunteers, etc). The impact of visually seeing our team work to remove trash and the vocal interaction with others on the importance of disposing trash correctly were beneficial in leaving a lasting impression. Our success was measured by our ability to make them think of us and our efforts long after the day is done and each time they visit these beaches in the future.
  • 33. In relation to sustainability our group worked hard to assure that even the smallest pieces of trash were picked up to build resilience into our ecosystem.
  • 34. Communication can always be a struggle. Whether it be misunderstandings or misinterpretations, we learned that the ability to move forward to get the job done was crucial to accomplishing our mutual goal.
  • 35. The ocean was particularly significant to Ancient Hawaiian culture. Hawaiians have historically “understood the importance of managing the islands and waters as inextricably connected to one another. (Papahanumokuakea, 2019)
  • 36. What Really is Recycling? Thermoplastic VS Thermoset Many believe plastics can simply be heated, melted, then reformed to create another object. Well, for thermoplastics, this can be true with the addition of new, virgin material. However, thermoset plastic has chemical additives that help turn a liquid (crude oil) to a solid, creating irreversible chemical bonds. These chemicals transform and are no longer viable when heated. Not all plastic is even recyclable. For instance, straws and plastic bags aren’t recyclable at all. There are seven different classes of plastics, rated from #1 to #7. #1 is recyclable, but potentially hazardous to humans if left in the sun (never leave water bottles in direct sunlight) while #7 can include completely non-recyclable or PLA plastic which is derived from corn. PLA plastic as well isn’t all that we may hope. While PLA can be composted in extraordinarily precise compositing environment of 140 degrees continual temperatures for ten days with the exact species of microorganisms capable of breaking PLA down. In the United States, only 113 facilities are capable of composting PLA, and only 25% of them accept household recycling. According to a recent article by National Geographic, coffee cups, particularly the ones utilized by Starbucks are largely non-recyclable despite claims to the contrary unless an extremely specialized machine (that most recycling plants do not have) is used. Recycling simply isn’t as simple as it seems, and in many cases even recycled plastics require virgin materials to be added in order to create another plastic item. (citations in following slides)
  • 37. Where is Away? What do we do when we have rubbish that needs to go somewhere else? We throw it away. Where exactly is “away?” The reality is that “away” doesn’t take care of anything. Away simply means we no longer have to look at the very trash we produced. What needs to be re-framed within our minds is that there is no “away” there is no way for much of our waste to biodegrade (including glass and plastics). There is no away. It’s all just still here. Photo Credit: National Geographic India
  • 38. Aha! Our discoveries! What did we learn from this project? 1. The value and importance of communicating effectively with one another. 2. What it truly means to be a sustainable community. 3. That you can learn and have fun at the same time!
  • 39. What will we do next? Participating in this project has taught us the importance of not only protecting our environment, but communicating to others the importance of protecting our environment. We can make a difference, and for us, this is only the beginning. From Left to Right: Leimana, Tim, Fera, Nick, Abel, and Ka’iulani w/her keiki.
  • 40. Citations: Lim, X. Z. (2019, February 28). Big Business Wants You To Think It's Fixing The Plastic Crisis. Don't Buy It. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/big-business-plastic-waste- trash_n_5c1abc64e4b0407e9076c30e. Study finds nanoplastics to negatively affect aquatic animals. (2017, December 19). Retrieved from https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/study-finds-nanoplastics-to-negatively-affect-aquatic-animals. Bratskeir, K. (2019, February 28). New Study Finds Plastic In 50 Dead Whales, Dolphins, Seals. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/plastic-study-dead-whales-dolphins- seals_n_5c52f53ce4b04f8645c82cfe?guccounter=1.
  • 41. Additional supplemental citations: Witman, S. (2017, September 13). World's Biggest Oxygen Producers Living in Swirling Ocean Waters. Retrieved from https://eos.org/research-spotlights/worlds-biggest-oxygen-producers-living-in-swirling-ocean-waters. NOAA. (2019)(n.d.). Marine Debris Program: Impacts. Retrieved from https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/discover-issue/impacts. NOAA, US Department of Commerce, & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2008, November 14). What is marine debris? Retrieved from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/marinedebris.html. Smith, M., Love, D. C., Rochman, C. M., & Neff, R. A. (2018). Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health. Current Environmental Health Reports, 5(3), 375–386. doi: 10.1007/s40572-018-0206-z Yousif, E., & Haddad, R. (2013). Photodegradation and photostabilization of polymers, especially polystyrene: review. SpringerPlus, 2(1). doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-398 NOAA. (2017, August 9). How Marine Debris is Impacting Marine Animals. Retrieved from https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/about/media/how-marine-debris-impacting-marine-animals.html Browne, M. A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T. S., Lowe, D. M., & Thompson, R. C. (2008). Ingested Microscopic Plastic Translocates to the Circulatory System of the Mussel,Mytilus edulis(L.). Environmental Science & Technology https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es800249a
  • 42. Additional supplemental citations: continued Gill, V. (2018, June 23). Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/science- environment-44579422. Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles- threats-marine-debris/. Boland, R. C., Donohue, M. J., & Bull, M. P. (2003). Marine debris accumulation in the nearshore marine habitat of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi 1999–2001. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 46(11), 1385–1394. doi: 10.1016/s0025- 326x(03)00291-1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/14607537/ Noaa. (n.d.). Removal and Research: The Marine Debris Team Strikes Again. Retrieved from https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature- story/removal-and-research-marine-debris-team-strikes-again. Harvey, C. (2019, April 29). Hawaii's beloved beaches are covered in huge amounts of plastic, survey finds. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/04/hawaiis-beloved-beaches-are-covered-in-huge-amounts-of- plastic-survey-finds/.
  • 43. Additional supplemental citations: continued Jones, J. (2018, February 8). The 9.3 million people who visited Hawaii last year paid more for their hotels. So will you. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/travel/hawaii/la-tr-hawaii-hotel-prices-incease-as-does-tourism-20180207-story.html. EPA. (n.d.). Municipal Solid Waste. Retrieved from https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/. Sedaghat, L. (2018, April 13). 7 Things You Didn't Know About Plastic (and Recycling). Retrieved from https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/04/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-plastic-and-recycling/. Royte, E. (2006, August 1). Corn Plastic to the Rescue. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/corn-plastic- to-the-rescue-126404720/. Anthony, N. (n.d.). Cultural Research and Significance. Retrieved from https://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/heritage/.