Military Hauls Tons Of Trash From Mokauea Island
Most Of Garbage Flows From Oahu

POSTED: 3:08 pm HST April 18, 2008
UPDATED: 3:19 pm HST April 18, 2008

MOKAUEA ISLAND, Hawaii -- Dozens of Army soldiers volunteered as part of Earth Day efforts to take debris off Mokauea Island, considered one of the last fishing villages in Hawaii.Mokauea Island sits a few hundred yards off Sand Island. Volunteers have been cleaning it up over the past several months. On Friday, they received help from 65 Army soldiers for Earth Day.

"It's going to be so much easier to throw the trash and take it out in one day -- something that would take them probably a year to move out of here with the way they were doing it before," Capt. Mario Marte said.

It is been nearly 30 years since the last major cleanup. Since that time there has been quite a collection of debris that has been literally piling up.There are old plastic, wood, 55-gallon drums and parts of an old boat. There are only four families who live on this island.Where does all the stuff come from? For the answer, you basically have to look across the channel toward the island of Oahu. That is the source of some pretty big pieces of trash.

"It's current and tide, current and tide, and it's, you know, us, not taking the time to take care of our litter correctly, and it ends up over here," said Donna Kahakui of Kai Makana.The residents are happy to get rid of the trash that comes from off the island. They said they have their hands full taking out their own trash."The wheels have turned with Donna Kahakui and Kai Makana. And now the wheels are really going with the Army and the military coming over to help. Things are really moving along. It's awesome to see this," Mokauea resident Eleu Bagood said.