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Kukui Grove Center goes hands-on for World Oceans Day

LIHU‘E — With World Oceans Day celebrated today, Kukui Grove Center went with the marine theme in many of its planned activities for everyone in the family last weekend.

“The Princeville Public Library got wiped out early,” said Jean Souza, program specialist for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and coordinator for the grab-and-go ocean learning kits, talking about how long the kits did not last on the North Shore.

They started distributing from 9 a.m., and everything was gone within the hour. We’ve got Heather Ylitalo-Ward, the state’s marine biologist with the Division of Aquatic Resources taking the lead here at Kukui Grove. After we reach 1 o’ clock, we’re moving the kits over to the Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i.”

The grab-and-go kits focused on sea turtles, primarily the green sea turtle, or honu, and the more-endangered hawksbill turtle, or honu‘ea, found in Hawaiian waters, which are all nesting this time of the year.

The free learning kits were offered through a collaborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ DAR, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and hold a variety of materials, including a 30-page sea-turtle coloring book rendered in Hawaiian and English languages, activity sheets on making turtle models and origami turtles, and brochures on sea turtles.

Kat Bengston, the librarian from the Princeville Public Library, joined Mindy Gipson from the Hanapepe Public Library in jumping on the “Tales and Tails” aspect of the state library system’s summer reading program to enlist readers, including teens and adults, to this year’s program that started June 1 and continues through July 31.

For more information, see, or visit the local library.

Co-sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i, the McUrchin rose over the trio providing jazz Friday during the opening of the Kaua‘i Society of Artists Washed Up Marine Debris Art Show 2021 that enjoyed an overflow opening reception at the KSA gallery in KGC, where artist Siobhan Thielan was ecstatic to see the red dot symbolizing the sale of her piece, “Domino Effect.”

The popular exhibit featuring local artists producing high-quality work from marine debris is enjoying its third year, and is open daily until July 2. Hours are from noon to 6 p.m. daily, and Friday to 7 p.m.

Jarrin Shigemura of Spectrum had a lot of beach kits, including a bucket and assortment of sand tools, some sunglasses and more to distribute to people enjoying the grand opening of the Keiki Korner play area that is now sponsored by Spectrum and open during the shopping center’s normal hours after being off limits for more than a year due to the pandemic restrictions.

“We brought the Baby Shark in just for this,” Shigemura said. “The play area is filled with marine creatures like the honu and other marine things, so the Baby Shark fits in well.”

Brenda Turville Biehler of Showtime Characters said she pulled the Baby Shark out of storage for the weekend’s event.

“Baby Shark went out only once, and then the COVID-19 struck,” Biehler said. “I have some other marine characters that match the Keiki Korner, like Sebastian. But I want a Nemo, some other fish, and I really want a honu. I don’t know if they can make one.”

Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of KGC said she liked the idea of everything being hands-on, considering that with World Oceans Day today, it’ll be the second year the event goes virtual on the role oceans have in everyday life.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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