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Celebrating love for the oceans

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, along with its many community partners, invites the community to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special event, “Fall In Love with NOAA,” on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kukui Grove Center.

“This is going to be a big day at the Kukui Grove Center. The shopping center is going to have more details on what is taking place,” said Jean Souza, the on-site manager for Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery.

“The Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery is partnering with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources, the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program and the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for a number of outreach activities that include Valentine’s Day crafts, keiki art projects and games, ocean-themed videos, photo booth, demonstrations and free giveaways,” Souza said.

Some of the stations include:

• Ocean-themed arts and crafts, where keiki can show love for their favorite ocean animals and share that love with others through the make-and-take Valentine greeting cards, and hand stenciling a reusable shopping bag;

• Whale and dolphin activity booth, where families learn about whales and dolphins and how NOAA scientists study them, and what people can do to protect them. They are able to find out what it’s like to be a whale biologist in the photo ID activity;

• Hawaiian monk seal booth, where state Department of Land and Natural Resources and NOAA staff will be teaching about Hawaiian monk seals, viewing guidelines, and how to report sightings to the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline at 888-256-98401. There will be a “seal-fie” booth;

• 2023 Honu count, where people can learn how to contribute to NOAA’s sea turtle research by reporting sightings of tagged turtles;

• Community resilience to climate change: Food, homes, livelihoods, where people are able to talk with University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program about the Kaua‘i climate adaptation plan, aquaculture research with Kaua‘i Sea Farm, and adaptation to sea-level rise. The first 50 families will receive a free copy of the storybook “The Three ‘Io Brothers and the Rising Tide;”

• Large whale entanglement response demonstrations on how the U.S. Coast Guard works with NOAA to respond to entangled whales. Boaters can learn about the rules and best ways to navigate around whales;

• Marine debris booth, where people can learn about the harmful effects of marine debris from the Surfrider Foundation, Kaua‘i Chapter, and tips on how to prevent marine litter and how anyone can join community beach cleanups and net patrols.
Source: The Garden Island

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