Cleaning Up Ewa’s Drain Channel

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - October 07, 2009
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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Instead of flowers, springtime showers brought foam cups, paper plates, plastic bags and other rubbish into John Sadowski’s driveway.

When he went outside to clean up the mess, he noticed a trail of trash leading to the Ewa Beach drainage channel up the road. He followed and was shocked at what he found.

“When I got closer to the channel, I noticed the debris getting thicker and thicker with such items as a mattress, foam pad, portable TVs, large branches with tons of leaves, more plastic bottles, containers, etc. When I got to the channel and stood on one side of it, I saw a dead animal that looked like a small dog or large cat,” he recalled.


To combat the flood of litter, Sadowski created the group Save Our Surf and Seals, which holds monthly cleanups of the channel and surrounding beach. The first project launched on Aug. 15 with 20 volunteers, and on Aug. 29 they teamed up with the city’s Adopt-a-Block event to collect 10 bags of opala. Also lending a hand to the efforts so far have been Eddie Lewis and the Campbell High girls volleyball team; Leilehua High Letterman’s Club and AVID students; nonprofit Because We Surf; and Sadowski’s wife of 40 years, Sharan, neighbors and friends, those he calls the “real environmental heroes.”

“Through our efforts, I notice more people wanting to help. I also notice more people being conscious about what is left on the beach when they leave,” shared Sadowski, who was honored by the mayor in August with a Laulima Award for his efforts to keep Hawaii beautiful.

“I wasn’t doing this for awards but to help the community stay clean and, more importantly, for future generations to continue to enjoy the beach and ocean,“he said. “It is my hope that the people who are dumping and living along the channel will see this article and realize it’s their backyard!”

S.O.S.S. returns to the channel at 8 a.m. this Saturday. Those who wish to join the cleanup should come prepared with covered shoes or rubber boots, a hat, sun-screen and plenty of drinking water. Trash bags will be supplied, but if you have rakes, handheld litter picks, a wheelbarrow or pickup truck to haul stuff away, Sadowski says bring it on down.

The group will meet at 91-545 Ft. Weaver Road before heading out to the beach.

The next big cleanup with the city, Campbell High, Ewa Boys & Girls Club, Ewa Weed and Seed and other community groups is scheduled for Dec. 12. Call 689-1783 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

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