But quickly I realize it's not a seal. It's a sea turtle.
As I watch, another appears, and another, then another — all aiming at the
same corner of the bustling beach.
For months, dozens of green sea turtles have been showing up every evening
at this same spot on Maui, hauling out on the sand to stay for hours.
Naturalists call it "basking."
"We don’t quite understand why they chose this place, but once they did
they have kept coming," says
Hannah Bernard, president of the
nonprofit Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which has organized an effort to help
protect them. "No place in the world has as many basking turtles."
Visitors can photograph the turtles. Or they can have a richer experience:
While on the island, they can volunteer as turtle monitors with Bernard’s
group, helping to educate others about these endangered sea creatures the
locals call "honu."
Helping the honu means spending a few hours on the beach, hardly a painful
commitment. It's just one way to turn your island vacation into
"voluntourism" — giving back some of the spirit of aloha.
Read entire article online at the Seattle Times
Meanwhile, Megan Lamson,
Stacey Breining and Lauren Kurpita hand-pulled and removed nonnative plant species, such as seashore paspalum, by the bucket load. Such invasive species are supplanting native vegetation, taking over the habitat. Floating in a borrowed yellow kayak, Nohea Kaawa and her sister, Kaila Olson, steadily gathered the accumulating
limu (algae) into a slimy pile.
It’s dirty work, but these six Hawaii Wildlife Fundteam members and
volunteers laughed off the conditions Tuesday as part of the rewarding experience of repairing damage and improving the environment.
The results of the study were released Wednesday by four Maui citizen groups and Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of the groups against Maui County in U.S. District Court for "illegally discharging wastewater into the ocean from its Lahaina treatment facility's injection wells."
"This study confirms what we've been saying for years, wastewater injected at the Lahaina facility travels underground and ends up in the ocean offshore of Kahekili Beach, contributing pollutants to near-shore waters," said Caroline Ishida, attorney for Earthjustice,
which filed the lawsuit for Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group and the West Maui Preservation Association.
Hannah Bernard of the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund said that while the UH study did not look into the environmental effects of the wastewater seepage, other studies have shown that water quality and temperature "can cause impacts on the reefs." Excess nutrients can be attributed to algal blooms, she added.
Read entire article at MauiNews.com
Marine debris connects filmmaker with HWF
Hawaii Wildlife Fund provides info for Japanese video project
HWF's Megan Lamson is featured in this video created by Japanese
filmmaker Atsuko Quirk. Lamson appears at about the 3-minute mark.
> Watch video JAPAN - JULY 2013 Hawaii
Wildlife Fund provided information for a documentary created by Japanese filmmaker Atsuko Quirk about students studying marine debris
washing ashore in Japan. Quirk
posted her video on the website Kickstarter
this summer in an effort to bring the global issue of marine debris into
focus and raise funds for the project. As part of
her research, she contacted HWF's Megan Lamson, who
is featured in the documentary showing the 9th grade students
(via Skype) some Japanese items that her team has found on Hawaiian shores through
HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project.
The bill includes a $20 million budget appropriation for the acquisition, and is aimed at protecting the area from potential development.
"Let me tell you that’s no small thing," said Gov. Abercrombie during today’s bill signing ceremony at the Grand Wailea Resort in South Maui.
"What that means is that Maui legislators were able to make a very specific case in terms of the public good being established and put some serious dollars behind it."
"It’s important in preserving one of the most iconic landmarks in
Hawaii – I think that speaks for itself and says volumes about it," said the governor in comments today.
Read entire article at MauiNow.com
HWF sea turtle project focus of student video
Students learn about conservation through video project
HWF's Hawksbill sea turtle conservation program is featured in this video created by Maui students. MAUI - June 24, 2013
One of the educational projects of
Maui Huliau Foundation provides after-school training that teaches students filmmaking techniques.
This year's program, funded by Hawai'i Tourism Authority,
resulted in 11 videos created by Maui students ages 12-18. One of those
films, entitled "Hawksbills: A Path to Recovery" was made by three
students and focuses on the work being done by Hawaii Wildlife Fund to
help protect the endangered Hawaiian Hawksbill sea turtle through
protecting nesting areas and feeding habitat.
View 11 Student Videos
Marine debris rests after a likely long journey
Photo by Matthew Thayer/Maui News MAUI - May 11, 2013 A large steel buoy pulled from the ocean Thursday rests on the shore at Makena State Park on Friday morning as
Cheryl King and Maui County ocean safety Capt. Zach Edlao inspect other debris collected. King, the founder
of Sharkastics and vice president of
Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said she could not positively say where the debris came from
because it lacks distinctive markings to identify it as flotsam
generated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "I can't say for 100 percent sure," she said. "This is a very typical selection
of stuff that always comes up here. This is the stuff we've been picking up for years." She said there have been only 21 confirmed pieces of
tsunami debris recovered in the United States, with eight of those found in Hawaii.
Read entire article online at MauiNews.com
What to do if you see marine debris in Hawaii (pdf)
HWF receives grant for marine debris clean ups
State awards grants to address Japanese Tsunami debris April 30, 2013 -
The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) with assistance from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources
(DLNR) is awarding six local non-profit,
community groups grant funds to help address Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) and keep Hawaii’s shorelines clean. The focus is on potential debris
originating from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
"The six grants totaling $100,000 complement ongoing efforts by community groups that are already working to address marine debris,
including debris originating from the Japan tsunami," said Gary Gill, deputy director of the DOH Environmental Health Administration.
"For years Hawaii has depended on volunteers to keep marine debris off our beaches. Today, we are providing a little support for the very big job they do."
The selected projects will help to reduce the impacts of marine debris from alien species, marine life entanglement, economic costs, and human health
and safety. The awardees are:
Surfrider Kauai, $25,000 (for Kauai County); Hawaii Wildlife Fund, $20,000 (for Maui County);
Recycle Hawaii, $20,000 (for Hawaii County);
Surfrider Oahu, $13,000 (for Honolulu County);
Kupu, $11,000 (for Honolulu County); and
Sustainable Coastlines, $11,000 (for Honolulu County)
Read entire article online at HawaiiReporter.com
HWF featured in National Park Service
Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Megan Lamson contributing writer ALASKA - March 18, 2013Hawaii
Wildlife Fund's Megan Lamson was a contributing writer for a four-page
electronic newsletter, Pacific Ocean Newsletter, recently published by the
National Park Service.