Ocean Day Hawai╩╗i is April 25!

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Date: Monday, April 6, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Have you ever wondered who to call when you see an injured turtle on the beach? Or how to culture a black pearl? How small is a fish that is too small to keep?

Find out the answer to these and other fascinating questions concerning the ocean surrounding us at the 3rd annual Ocean Day Hawai'i, hosted by the University of Hawai╩╗i at Hilo Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center (PACRC) and Marine Science Department, in partnership with the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant and Hilo Jaycees. Admission is free for this family-friendly event on Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PACRC on Kalaniana'ole Avenue in Keaukaha.

Ocean Day Hawai'i is a community outreach event designed to increase public awareness of ocean issues such as conservation, ocean resources and ocean safety through fun, interactive displays, activities and booths. Over 1,000 people attended last year's event. This year's Ocean Day promises to be bigger and better, with additional and more diverse displays.

All ages will enjoy the hands-on activities prepared by UH Hilo Marine Science researchers and partners, including the Hawai╩╗i Division of Aquatic Resources, Marine Mammal Response Network, Hawai╩╗i Wildlife Society and Mokupapapa. For the keiki, there are fishing games, touch-tank exploration and face painting plus crafts and activities, including a poi pounding workshop. Artwork of our coastal Hawai'i nei by Keaukaha keiki will be displayed as well as underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs) courtesy of local robotics groups. Site tours will also be given.

In addition to providing information on current topics such as why plastic is harmful to marine life and what we can do to help identify and control aquatic invasive species, other booths will focus on our coastal heritage here in Hawai'i. Information will be available on how to get involved with beach clean-ups, what you can do to help preserve and protect our ocean resources, and how to gain a career in the ocean sciences.

There will be a welcome by Patrick Kahawaiola'a of the Keaukaha Community Association and UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. For more information, e-mail Sharon Ziegler-Chong at ziegler@hawaii.edu or Michele Kubojiri at mkubojir@hawaii.edu or call 933-3289.

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