A rusted-out bicycle. Several shredded beach chairs. And more cigarette butts than you can count.

That’s just a mere fraction of the trash that was collected from Baldwin Beach Park during a beach cleanup sponsored by Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers on Saturday, June 15.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers teamed up with the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter to clean the beach in honor of International Surfing Day. Headquartered in San Clemente, California, the Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization that—among many other things—works to protect the ocean, preserve coastlines and ensure beaches are accessible. It has volunteer-based chapters in coastal communities across the U.S., including Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii Island and Maui.

Established in 2005 by the Surfrider Foundation and Surfing Magazine, International Surfing Day is observed every year on the third Saturday of June. On this unofficial holiday, the global surfing community pays tribute to the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through paddle-outs, coastal cleanups and other surf-centric activities. According to the Surfrider Foundation, more than one million people have taken part in International Surfing Day over the last decade; there are now more than 200 commemorative events held annually in more than 30 countries.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers Realtor-Salesperson and Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter member Dave Futch coordinated the cleanup at Baldwin Beach Park. “Having been a surfer all my life, I’ve grown to love the beach environment and have discovered the good work that the Surfrider Foundation is doing. As such, they have become my philanthropic priority,” he explained. “Hawaii Life is involved with meaningful nonprofits that do good for the environment. When they indicated an interest in sponsoring Surfrider’s next beach cleanup at Baldwin Beach and asked for any volunteers who would like to coordinate the event, I was immediately drawn to the task.”

On the morning of June 15, nearly 150 volunteers—including more than two-dozen Hawaii Life agents and brokers, along with their friends and family members—gathered at Baldwin Beach Park. They started the day with complimentary coffee from Paia Bay Coffee & Bar and a one-hour-long beach yoga class led by Karin Kuhn, owner of Maha Yoga & Wellness Center in Paia Town.

After that, the volunteers armed themselves with heavy-duty garbage bags and protective gloves (provided by the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter) and set out on a litter-finding mission in the wooded areas between Baby Beach and Baldwin Cove. In the space of two hours, they rounded up more than 2,000 pounds of trash. The final tally included 1,500 pounds of “big-ticket” items (e.g., beach chairs, appliances, etc.), more than 114 pounds of recyclables and over 610 pounds of “general” trash. As the items were sorted, volunteers were treated to pizzas generously provided by Flatbread Company and free shave ice from Tobi’s Shave Ice.

“It was a wonderful event with so many like-minded individuals who share a love of the ocean and want to help our planet,” Futch said. “The Surfrider staff said this was the most successful Maui event yet. You can imagine how proud I am of our community.”

With that in mind, Futch encourages others to give back in any way they can. “The world needs us now…more than ever. The impending ecological catastrophe that will befall us sooner than we’d like to believe will have a dramatic effect on life as we know it. The more I learn about this, the more I shift from being a part of the problem to being a part of the solution—using less, reusing more, reducing my personal footprint and cleaning as I go. Moreover, my focus is on being a living example and inviting others to jump on board the sustainability train,” he said. “My hope is that others will see how rewarding it is to look outside of one’s self-centric life and do something good. Some may step up and be leaders while all who share their enthusiasm will influence others to follow suit…who knew that doing good would also feel so good?”

For more information about the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter or to inquire about donor or volunteer opportunities, visit maui.surfrider.org.

The Maui News – July 8, 2019

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