Grant awarded to clean up tsunami debris


LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — An organization will use a state grant to clean up debris from the Japanese tsunami that continues to wash up on Kauai’s shorelines.

The state Department of Health has awarded the Surfrider Foundation of Kauai the $25,000. The money will be used to fund a pair of fellowships for students at Kauai Community College. One of the students will coordinate beach cleanups and net patrols. The other will monitor tsunami debris, said foundation chairman Carl Berg.

Starting in February there has been a large spike in the amount of tsunami-related debris, Berg said. Items have included buoys, pieces of high-density foam, fishing nets, refrigerators and a piece of floating dock.

“We’re getting bigger stuff, stuff that’s now drifted for two years,” he said.

One of Surfrider Kauai’s main concerns is getting the debris off the beach in a timely fashion so it does not wash back out to sea, he said.

The Kauai organization topped the list of six state nonprofits that received a portion of $100,000 in grants for marine debris removal on Kauai, Maui, Hawaii and Oahu, according to the state Department of Health.

 

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