Volunteers to visit dive sites around Kauai

LIHUE — The initial Kauai Island Coastal Resource Inventory was completed and published in 1982.

Now, a new generation of volunteers is launching an updated 2013 KICRI, according to a release. Last week, the volunteers began conducting interviews to gather information about activities within the coastal areas of Kauai.

“All information will be used to benefit the overall community of Kauai by understanding the current environmental situation,” the release states.

In 1981, research was conducted on 77 dive sites around the island and input was gathered from ocean users. Inventories were also done on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Molokai.

Francesca Koethe, who is in the process of completing her honors thesis at the University of Hawaii, said the team will visit each of the sites to document significant changes.

“We’re starting with the (original) 77, and if people bring up points, that these places have really changed, we’ll add additional sites,” she said.

Koethe is working on the project with James Maragos, a retired coral reef ecologist in UH’s Department of Geography.

Upcoming meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

• Today, 5 p.m. — Kapaa Library (north room)

• July 28, 4:30 p.m. — Anini Park, Pavilion 1 (south end)

• July 31, 10 a.m. — Hanalei Beach Pavilion (west-center)

• Aug. 3, 10 a.m. — Wailua, Lydgate Park (small pavilion)

• Aug. 3, 2:30 p.m. — Koloa, Community Center

• Anahola Clubhouse — time and date to be determined

Community input is crucial to the success of the inventory and public participation is strongly encouraged, especially from people who live in neighboring towns, such as Kekaha, Waimea, Eleele, Poipu, Kealia, Moloaa, Haena and Kilauea, according to the release. In addition, information is needed about remote, uninhabited coastal areas, including Mana, Na Pali and Polihale.

“We just want to get testimony and understand what places have been drastically altered,” Koethe said.

At each meeting there will also be a group discussion on the changes in use, habitat declines and user conflicts.

“It’s open for the public and we encourage anyone who can to come,” Koethe said.

Goals of KICRI 2013 include: Updating the status of marine resources and habitats; including additional marine surveys based on feedback from the meetings; assessing the status of marine life habitats and conditional changes during the past 32 years; conducting marine resurveys later in the year, including the resurvey of the 1981 sites; using Google Earth imagery to prepare the atlas, which will include use symbols, location of surveys and cultural areas; and offering recommendations to safeguard habitats and marine species that are declining.

Additional interviews will be organized by Rhoda Libre, who can be reached at rhodalibre@gmail.com or 808-645-1210.

For information contact James Maragos at jimmaragos@yahoo.com or 927-5034 and Francesca Koethe at fskoethe@hawaii.edu or 256-0440.


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