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Marine learning kits gobbled up

LIHU‘E — There is a turtle species in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, too, said Aaron Swink of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources Saturday while distributing free, grab-and-go ocean-learning kits near the newly-installed marine-wildlife panel located near the Keiki Korner play area at Kukui Grove Center.

“The turtle in the panel has its identifying name, scientific name and, unlike the one in the poster illustrated by Roger Hall, has its Hawaiian name,” said Jean Souza, the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery on-site manager.

“The panel is illustrated by Roger Hall, and with the collaboration of Malia Nobrega-Olivera of the University of Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, named ‘Oe E Kanaloa, Ola! or, ‘These Are You, Kanaloa.’”

More than 200 learning kits were distributed through partnership and collaboration with the state DLNR DAR, Princeville Public Library, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i.

The free marine-wildlife and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument poster accompanied the package lso containing an activity book, word puzzles, brochures, online resources and more.

“We gave 50 kits to the Princeville library, and within an hour half of it was already distributed,” Souza said. “They were hoping to have enough kits to last through the lunch hour. We’ll be doing the Kukui Grove distribution until the afternoon, and whatever is remaining will be distributed through Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i at Kukui Grove.”

Souza said while many people may never have an opportunity to step foot in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument because of the harm that humans might cause, the monument can be visited remotely through the internet and resources such as the learning kits that include instruction on creating an origami marine wildlife scene.

“We are so appreciative of the creativity of the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery team and partners to find ways to pivot and continue to share its mission and ocean resources in new ways over this past year when the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery was closed due to the pandemic,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of KGC.

“The grab-and-go learning kits, virtual webinars, the Ho‘ike channel 54 programming and more. It’s great to see this team coming together to offer something meaningful for our keiki and our families to enjoy until the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery can be reopened to the community once again,” McFerrin-Warrack said.

Souza said that, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, there will be a webinar on the Hanalei Watershed,where Maka‘ala Ka‘aumoana, the founder of the Hanalei Watershed Hui, will discuss the Hanalei ‘ahupua‘a area on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. The discussion will include the area’s history, issues and future.

On March 24, Dr. Heather Ylitalo-Ward will present about cephalopods, and why they are important in Hawai‘i and beyond.

Ylitalo-Ward, an employee with the DLNR DAR, monitors coral reef ecosystem health and populations, including octopus. During the presentation, Ylitalo-Ward will discuss her experiences working with octopus and why she continues to be enamored with them today.

To register for the seminars, visit sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/teachers/webinar-series.html.

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

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