Team Beach Clean Up

27 de Apr de 2020

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Team Beach Clean Up

  1. 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: 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: 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:
  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:
  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.
  32. Relating to sustainability, communication, & culture. 15 25 35 22
  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 trash_n_5c1abc64e4b0407e9076c30e. Study finds nanoplastics to negatively affect aquatic animals. (2017, December 19). Retrieved from Bratskeir, K. (2019, February 28). New Study Finds Plastic In 50 Dead Whales, Dolphins, Seals. Retrieved from 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 NOAA. (2019)(n.d.). Marine Debris Program: Impacts. Retrieved from NOAA, US Department of Commerce, & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2008, November 14). What is marine debris? Retrieved from 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 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
  42. Additional supplemental citations: continued Gill, V. (2018, June 23). Marine plastic: Hundreds of fragments in dead seabirds. Retrieved from environment-44579422. Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Marine Debris. (n.d.). Retrieved from 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 Noaa. (n.d.). Removal and Research: The Marine Debris Team Strikes Again. Retrieved from 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 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 EPA. (n.d.). Municipal Solid Waste. Retrieved from Sedaghat, L. (2018, April 13). 7 Things You Didn't Know About Plastic (and Recycling). Retrieved from Royte, E. (2006, August 1). Corn Plastic to the Rescue. Retrieved from to-the-rescue-126404720/. Anthony, N. (n.d.). Cultural Research and Significance. Retrieved from