COURTESY MICHAEL DE NYSE / U.S. COAST GUARD
Members of the Coast Guard cutter Walnut, a 225-foot buoy tender that has its home port in Honolulu, offloaded more than 28 tons of marine debris Friday, at Coast Guard Integrated Support Command in Honolulu. The debris was collected from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
Marine monument cleaned up
More than 28 tons of debris have been removed from waters surrounding the Papahana- umokuakea Marine National Monument in a multiagency effort.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Hawaii personnel participated in the 18-day project with the Coast Guard.
The Walnut, 225-foot Coast Guard buoy tender based here, left May 20 for Maro Reef and Midway Atoll, a 2,900-mile trip. The ship's crane, lift bags and divers removed as much debris as possible from the waters.
Since 1996, more than 510 metric tons of marine debris have been removed from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The monument -- the largest fully protected marine conservation area in the world -- was established two years ago by President Bush. NOAA manages the resources with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state of Hawaii.