Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai`i (B.E.A.C.H.) was founded in 2006 by Suzanne Frazer and Dean Otsuki. B.E.A.C.H. is an all volunteer, non-profit organization that brings awareness and solutions to marine debris through environmental education, marine debris removal and research, and plastic reduction/litter prevention campaigns in order to inspire actions by individuals and the community that save and protect marine life, sea birds and the ocean/coastal environment. B.E.A.C.H. is funded through donations, membership and grants.
B.E.A.C.H. gives educational presentations to all ages of school students, university students and teachers as well as in the community to raise awareness of marine debris impacts and solutions to the problem. B.E.A.C.H. initiated the "Marine Debris Awareness Student Art Project" and the Marine Debris Solutions Student Art Project involving students in learning about marine debris, the impacts of marine debris on marine life and solutions. Students then created paintings to help raise awareness of marine debris impacts and solutions which were displayed in public libraries and the State Capitol to raise awareness in the community. Three books were created from the Marine Debris Awareness Student Art Project and are available to borrow from the Hawai`i State Library system. B.E.A.C.H. has educational booths and information tables at community events to educate the public about marine debris and provide solutions.
Marine Debris Removal and Research
B.E.A.C.H. marine debris removal efforts have involved removing all sizes of marine debris from Hawai`i's shorelines, concentrating on those most impacted by marine debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The marine debris that B.E.A.C.H. has removed ranges in size from micro-plastics including nurdles to large items such as nets. B.E.A.C.H. volunteers also document marine debris collected. It is sorted, counted, weighed and recorded. Sorting involves identifying different types of marine debris.
Plastic Reduction and Litter Prevention Campaigns
B.E.A.C.H. provides ways for the public to help reduce and prevent plastic marine debris in order to save marine life. B.E.A.C.H. plastic reduction and litter prevention campaigns target marine debris that is causing harm to marine life. In 2015, B.E.A.C.H. successfully initiated and got passed a bill banning smoking at all Hawai`i State Parks. B.E.A.C.H. gave key testimony and support to the bills banning smoking at all Maui County beaches and parks (bill passed in 2014) and Honolulu County beaches and parks (2013). B.E.A.C.H. led an educational approach to the implementation of the smoking ban at all Honolulu County Parks. In 2015, B.E.A.C.H. began a campaign to encourage use of glass straws in order to reduce plastic straws and has been educating the public about plastic microbeads in personal care products, supporting bills to ban plastic microbeads. Since 2013, B.E.A.C.H. has been encouraging people to use cotton produce bags for fruit and vegetables in order to reduce plastic bags and help save sea turtles. B.E.A.C.H. began a litter prevention campaign in 2013 involving installing wire recycle bins in county and state parks. The wire bins have been made by students and B.E.A.C.H. volunteers. In 2011, in order to save sea birds, B.E.A.C.H. launched a campaign to reduce plastic utensils and encourage use of reusable utensils by providing reusable bamboo utensil sets. In 2009 B.E.A.C.H. launched a campaign to recycle plastic caps and lids. In 2007 B.E.A.C.H. launched a reusable bag campaign to reduce plastic shopping bags that harm sea turtles and supported the successful 2008 ban of plastic bags in Mau`i County and the 2012 ban of plastic bags on Hawai`i island. B.E.A.C.H. initiated a new bill to ban mislabelled "biodegradable" plastic bags which passed in 2014 and became law in 2015 in Honolulu County. B.E.A.C.H. launched a campaign on Earth Day 2007 to reduce and prevent cigarette butt litter and supported the successful 2008 ban of smoking at all beaches and parks on the island of Hawai`i. In addition to all of these campaigns, since 2007, B.E.A.C.H. has supported bills to ban styrofoam take-out containers and educates the public about many different plastic reduction solutions.
B.E.A.C.H. suggestions on how you can help reduce the plastic load and prevent marine debris:
To give a donation, please use the button below. Thank you for your support. Donations are tax deductible as Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai`i is a 501(c)3.
Coral Photograph Credit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce and Dr. James P. McVey. Dolphins, Japanese Angelfish, Green turtle, and Laysan Albatross photos by James Watt. Humpback whale photo by James Mobeley
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