We began our day with breakfast before we headed off to Whittington Beach Park for our second day of service. We met up with partners of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and they explained the dangers that the trash on the shores of the Hawaiian coast present. After discussing the work that we would be doing, we embarked on a hike along the coast to discover, pick up, and remove various pieces of waste from the area.

Group photo at Whittington Beach Park with Hawaii Wildlife Fund members.

Group photo at Whittington Beach Park with Hawaii Wildlife Fund members.

After passing through  (rough and jagged) and Pahoehoe (smooth and ropy) rock formations, we ended up in a cove covered with marine debris. To add a little competitive nature to the task, we weighed the bags at the end to see who had the heaviest load. We ended up collecting 255 pounds of garbage! Not only did this help the environment, but it also caused the group to reflect on their use of plastics and other harmful materials. The group then moved further down the Ku’a coast after collecting the waste to relax and swim in an estuary. We then headed over to the Punalu’u bakery in order to regain energy.

The students collecting the damaging garbage. | Photo: Lea S.

The students collecting the damaging garbage. | Photo: Lea S.

The active lava crater in the middle of Volcanoes National Park. | Photo: Lea S.

The active lava crater in the middle of Volcanoes National Park. | Photo: Lea S.

After a long day of service, the group headed over to the Jagger Museum within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in order to view the active lava crater. We took pictures and talked to a ranger about the history of the volcanoes in Hawaii in order to better understand the formations and geological landscape.