July 5 ‘dirtiest beach day of the year’

Local News

Now that the July 4 party is over, the cleanup begins.

Thousands of people packed Oahu beaches on Thursday, from Ala Moana Regional Park to Waimea Bay.

It’s been fairly quiet in Waikiki the past several years when it comes to ‘floatilla,’ an annual event with hundreds of people who drink and celebrate on floats in the water. However, after years of police busts and dangerous conditions, people have moved the event elsewhere.

“The media pressure and more or less the stigmatism ‘Floatilla’ ended up getting meant that ‘Floatilla’ got smaller, so people went elsewhere,” said Kahi Pacarro, co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. “So they’re congregating at places like Waimea Bay now and at this point, it’s gotten a bit out of control.”

For years Sustainable Coastlines cleaned up Waikiki following ‘Floatilla’, sometimes they’d clean up 500 pounds of trash, but last year they decided to stop cleaning up after others.

“The reason we stopped going to ‘floatilla’ to clean it up was that we felt we were enabling it, we were there more or less to make the kids bed instead of having them clean up after themselves. So we saw an opportunity to step away gracefully as the ‘floatilla’ wined down and hopefully it doesn’t happen anymore,” Pacarro said.

But it did and it was North Shore residents who were dropping their kids off for junior lifeguards on Friday, who cleaned up after others.

“It’s crazy how people just throw trash on top of these [trash] cans thinking it’s just going to somehow decompose and sink into the can it just spills out everywhere it was pretty gross,” said North Shore resident Love Hodel.

“I’m just a huge advocate of if you can bring it in, you should be able to bring it out don’t leave it for others to come across,” he said.

KHON2 asked if they think the city should put more trash cans at beaches during big events, and the majority said no.

“Some countries have elected to not have any trash cans at their public parks or beaches, and it’s still extremely clean,” said Doorae Shin, Surfrider Foundation Oahu chapter coordinator. “Japan is one of those places, so the fact we have a lot of trash cans available around public places but that public places are still trashed says something about our culture and our abuse of the privilege we have.”

Surfrider Oahu will host a beach cleanup at Waimanalo Beach Park on Saturday, July 6.

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