Demand Clean Up of Northern Hawaiian Islands

Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: Remove plastic and other harmful garbage from Hawaii’s northern reefs and shorelines

Hawaii’s northern islands are home to numerous wild species. Fish, birds, marine reptiles, whales, dolphins, and many other animals live on or around the islands, feeding, breeding, and surviving. The shoreline and surrounding waters of these islands, however, are becoming more and more inhospitable for wildlife.

Run-off of liquid waste and garbage, as well as items dumped overboard by shipping vessels, is inundating the area, creating a massive wall of debris. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that 52 tons of garbage accumulates around the northern islands every year, and hundreds of species are negatively affected.

For example, albatross chicks have been found with plastic pieces lodged in their stomachs, and monk seals are often spotted trapped in discarded fishing nets. And as human dependence on plastic and other disposable items increases, the garbage problem around the islands will become much worse.

To protect the beauty of the islands and the safety of the wild animals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can designate the polluted area as a “Superfund” site. If the islands do indeed become a Superfund site, the federal government would allocate larger sums of money to clean up the shorelines and surrounding reefs.

Plus, environmental groups could help identify how to prevent further debris from contaminating the waters. Overall, this funding would help to protect the animals and environment of northern Hawaii and prevent further destruction from trash and other contaminants. Urge the EPA to designate these islands as a Superfund site and clean up Hawaii’s shoreline.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

Hawaii’s northern islands are choked with garbage. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that 52 tons of debris accumulate around the islands every year, mostly from land run-off and ship dumping.

This mass of garbage is extremely dangerous for the hundreds of animals that call the northern islands home. For example, albatross chicks have been found with plastic pieces lodged in their stomachs, and monk seals are often spotted trapped in discarded fishing nets. These types of incidents are far too common around the islands, and they are becoming more frequent.

To protect the animals and environment, I urge you to designate Hawaii’s northern islands as a Superfund site. If more money were to be allocated to the area, clean-up efforts would increase and the shorelines and waters would be much more hospitable.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NOAA’s National Ocean Service via Flickr

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  • Sheila Dillon
  • Jenna Miles
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