Hundreds make splash at World Oceans Day Fair

HANAPEPE — World Oceans Day was celebrated globally on June 8, but the Friends of the Hanapepe Public Library opted to wait until Saturday to host its World Oceans Day Fair.

“Youth: the Next Wave for Change” is this year’s theme and more than 300 people flocked to the library for the second time the Friends of the Public Library joined forces with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to host the event.

The even aimed at encouraging people to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer people with the hopes of conserving it for present and future generations.

“We had a good crowd, but not as big as last year,” said Jean Souza, the Kaua‘i programs coordinator for the Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary. “But the people who came had fun.”

The Friends of the Public Library, continuing its free monthly marine environment series with summer films, greeted people and encouraged youngsters to sign up for the Hanapepe Public Library’s summer reading program before unleashing them to the variety of activities and informational booths.

“Barbless hooks helps save the animals,” one young person said, holding up his completed barbless hook while others worked diligently at creating their own.

Some of the other activities included operating an underwater robotic submarine with the help of Waimea High School robotics students, and studying and drawing pictures of live plankton with the help of Waimea Canyon Middle School science teachers Justin and Lisa Yamagata. Justin Yamagata collected live specimens from Hanapepe Bay for the kids to examine.

“We’re lucky to have the science teachers coming out to help,” Souza said. “And the Hanalei Watershed Hui brought its water quality testing van this year as well.”

Commercial fisherman Greg Holzman, an earlier presenter at the Friends of the Hanapepe Public Library marine environment series, created a fish identification game for youngsters, and also ran a slideshow from his trip aboard the University of Hawai‘i research submarine Pisces.

People around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents, states the World Oceans Day website. The world’s ocean generates most of the oxygen we breathe, helps feed the population, regulates the planet’s climate, cleans the drinking water, offers the human population a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines and provides limitless inspiration.

In addition to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, other participating organizations included the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, the Division of Aquatics Resources, Kohola Leo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Na Mea Hulu, and NOAA Fisheries. Visit for more information.



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