Kai Makana, together with Chaminade University, the Tole Moor (at-risk youth-primarily of Hawaiian Ethnicity) of the Department of Health, Trilogy, and the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, conducted an ocean education project on Kaiolohia Beach on the island of Lana`i on November 20, 1999. The mission of this unique partnership was to have students learn about our ocean environment while participating in a significant service-learning project, which included essential research. Most importantly, they gained personally by contributing to the project's success.
This isolated part of Lana`i is significant for three reasons. First, Hawaii’s longest reef is found just off Kaiolohia Beach. Little is known about this reef and the impact of the serious run off problem there. Second, the shoreline is the landing site of a significant amount of ocean derived marine debris. Understanding where and how this debris arrives can provide valuable insight. Finally, threatened and endangered turtles come to reproduce and forage on this beach and are impacted by the marine debris as well as the run off.
Sol Kaho`ohalahala pointed out the petroglyphs that were only yards away from the marine debris on the beach, but not noticeable unless directed to the area. Sol informed us of the historical and cultural importance of the area and this gave everyone a sense of purpose.
Dr. Gail Grabowsky and her environmental studies students from Chaminade University conducted initial data research (while simultaneously teaching the at-risk youth of the Tole Moor) about the living reef (turbidity, density, etc) and marine debris analysis (identifying, weighing, characterizing, hypothesizing the origin of, etc). We collected over a half a ton of marine debris in just 2 hours. The results were then reported to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Hannah Bernard of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund educated both groups of students about the reef and the turtles that live there. Ms. Bernard discussed tides and currents to offer some understanding of how the debris may have arrived at Shipwreck Beach. The final part of the project was the removal and discarding of the collected debris by Tole Moor.
This was a one-day project that allowed all participants to leave as different people who have learned about and shared with one another the need to take care of our environment.
Kai Makana gratefully acknowledges the support of these
sponsors & partners:
|Chaminade University||Hawai`i Wildlife Fund|
|Lana`i Company||Marimed Foundation||Trilogy|
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|Kai Makana is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, established in 1997, to provide volunteer, in-kind, and financial support for marine wildlife conservation and education.|