Welcome to Keep Puako Beautiful

Marine Debris Affects Everyone

In Hawai‘i we share our ocean with more than 7,000 species of marine life. Of these species, approximately 25% are found nowhere else in the world. Coral reefs are the rain forests of the sea. They are living animals that eat, grow, reproduce, and provide food and shelter for fish and other marine life. Join us in helping to protect our ocean, our reef, and our marine life.

Here’s what you can do to “MALAMA”(take care of) this special place:

  • Help us reduce threats to our oceans and wildlife prevent marine debris.
  • Protect coral reefs from pollution and soil erosion by preventing wildfires.
  • Remove polluting litter and toxic cigarette butts from our ocean and waterway environment.
  • 4Rs: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, and REFUSE single use plastic.
  • Explore this website and other resources to gain awareness.
  • Challenge yourself to do a 15 minute “speed cleanup” each time you visit our beaches.

Ocean Etiquette

On The Shore:

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before entering the water or cover up with a t-shirt or rash guard. Sunscreens that don’t contain oxybenzone are more “reef-friendly.” Choose one with zinc instead.
  • Use a trash can, not the sand. Or take it with you. Plastic debris often ends up in the ocean and can entangle marine life.
  • Respect local cultural sites and traditional practices. Take time to ask about the rules, practices, and guidelines in place.

In The Water:

  • Choose a sandy place to enter and exit the water. And iff you must stand, stand on sand and not on the coral reef. Coral is a living animal and direct contact harms coral. It takes seconds to damage a reef that may take decades to recover.
  • Fish don’t need to be fed. Many are grazers, keeping algae (seaweed or limu) in check.
  • Leave corals, shells, and rocks where they lie. Many creatures live in, on, and around them.
  • Give marine life plenty of space. Keep your distance, look but don’t touch. Many species, including turtles, whales, and dolphins, are protected from harassment by state and federal laws.
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