This Saturday, April 30th at 10:30 am the second ever Ultimate Sand Sifter Competition (USSC) will take place during the Sustainable Coastlines Earth Day Event at Waimanalo Beach Park. The winners will take home a $1,500 cash prize purse, sponsored by Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s Mini-Grant Program.
The USCC is a friendly community competition to generate innovative solutions to a challenging problem: cleaning up microplastic marine debris. Microplastics are the tiny particles of degraded plastic that wash onto our shores leaving us with an unpleasant confetti of plastic sand. Microplastics are ubiquitous along the windward facing shores of Oahu, from Kahuku to Waimanalo, where the dominant ocean currents wash them up. The microplastic issue is prevalent in Hawaii from the Southeast Point of Hawai’i Island all the way to the Northeast Point of Kure Atoll at the top of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These plastic pieces are bite-size for animals like fish and seabirds, and they are also notoriously challenging to clean out of the sand.
During the competition 8 finalist contestants will debut their innovative designs and put them to the test to see which one can most effectively remove microplastic pollution from Hawaii’s sands. Competition observers and a panel of expert judges will cast their votes for the most effective sifter. The sifters will be judged as follows:
- Cost effective to build-$300 or under (up to 5 points)
- Sustainably sourced materials used (up to 10 points)
- Educational value (up to 5 points)
- Portability (up to 5 points)
- Effectiveness at removing plastic (up to 25 points)
A big mahalo to Kokua Hawaii Foundation for making this competition possible and good luck to the contestants. We hope to see you all out at Waimanalo Bay this Saturday.