We are absolutely thrilled to announce our newest Swim Guide affiliate organization, Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter. The Kauai Chapter is our fist affiliate in Hawaii. We are simultaneously welcoming a brand new state and affiliate. Kauai Chapter’s recreational water quality monitoring work allows Swim Guide to share their water quality information for one of the world’s premier beach destinations. Thank you Kauai Chapter, and welcome aboard!
The Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was founded in August 2006. A small group of Kauai’s active surfers joined the national organization with its focus on CARE: Conservation, Activism, Research, and Education. As stated in their mission statement, “we have an appetite for adventure and we all share a common passion – we love and appreciate our ocean, waves and beaches. We are an organization of committed volunteers.”
As an active member of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force, Surfrider Foundation Kauai conducts water quality monitoring at 35 salt and freshwater sites, including surfbreaks, beaches, and streams. The data generated from their testing is submitted to the Hawaii Department of Health, posted to their website, published through newspapers, and now, shared through Swim Guide as well. They also work closely with the Hawaii Department of Health to post warning signs in polluted areas. All this information works to keep both locals and tourists informed on the quality of the water where they recreate.
In addition to recreational water monitoring, the Kauai Chapter runs several other local programs. Their Net Patrol and Beach Cleanups began in 2006 to keep beaches free of marine debris. Beach Cleanups occur monthly across six beaches. Approximately 50,000 pounds of debris are removed from the coast and recycled each year.
Surfrider Foundation Kauai has advocated for the ban of single use plastics and is working on the use of styrofoam containers. Their program Ocean Friendly Restaurants aims to reduce the amount of single use plastics and Styrofoam going into the ocean from local restaurants. Similarly, they participate in another one of Surfrider’s national programs, Ocean Friendly Gardens, which aims to help businesses and individuals design their gardens in a way that minimizes run-off and overall environmental impact.
They also run educational programs in local schools to engage youth on issues of ocean health and environmentalism, and help support student research.Read more about their programs here.
Hawaii is located 3200 km (2000 mi) off the western coast of the United States in the Pacific Ocean and is the country’s 8th smallest state. While several US territories like Puerto Rico and Guam are islands, Hawaii is the only island state. It has the 4th longest coastline after Alaska, Florida, and California. Hawaii also has a very favourable climate, one that is typically tropical but with less extreme heat and humidity.
Hawaii is home to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a 360,000 km2 (140,000 mi) protected marine environment of atolls, reefs, and deep sea. This area is bigger than all other United States’ National Parks combined.
As with any place with so much coast, the range of recreational water activities are endless. Swimming, kayaking, and kiteboarding are all popular activities in Hawaii. Hawaii also has 85% of all the coral reefs in the United States. The state is an ideal destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Perhaps more than any other recreational water activity, Hawaii is famous for surfing. Surfing has become synonymous with Hawaiian culture and Hawaii features beaches and surfs perfect for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned pro.
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