The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources reported more than 200 beach visitors late at night in Kaena Point State Park, officials said it was a violation of emergency rules and it took hours to clean up the mess that was left behind.
DLNR officials said they recorded around 170 cars before losing count, they said many of them attended a weekend party at Mokuleia Beach.
Volunteer groups like Hawaii Sustainable Coastline spend a memorial day picking up trash left on the Oahu coastline because more people leave their homes to be outside.
The organization’s operations manager, Rachael Roehl, said they have seen more rubbish left behind in recent weeks.
Roehl said, “We already have enough garbage washed on our coastline from Pacific Pacific, we no longer need people who leave it carelessly, dangerous for wildlife because they can eat it is dangerous for humans too. ”
According to DLNR officials, the weekend crowd violated COVID-19 emergency rules, they did not have permission for large gatherings in state parks, and ignited rubbish and pallets for campfires. Open fires are prohibited on the coast of Hawaii.
Michael Loftin is the Executive Director at PT 808 Cleaning, a group of volunteers who clean up recreational areas such as parks and beaches.
Loftin said more and more people were conscious to clean themselves, but campfires over the weekend could be dangerous for the environment and humans.
“People have improved their practice, I think more people are more aware and more aware, this is a slow process but it is unfortunate to see this return,” Loftin said. “The fire pit palette, and leaving rubbish in the photo, we see a burning pallet that leaves nails in the sand and can hurt people in the long run.”
Park enforcement officials said they also tackled the problem of illegal camping over the weekend, saying the majority of people obeyed after they were told about the rules and did not issue a quote.
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