HANAPEPE — Eleele School fourth-graders were greeted with a surprise Friday during their Puolo Point coastal field trip.
“There are a lot of people here,” one student said after a briefing by Katie Nalasere during the tide pool visit phase of the field trip.
The Eleele School class of about 75 students were met by about 80 third-graders from Kalaheo School, who took advantage of the low tide to enjoy a field trip to Puolo Point.
“Having this many people can’t be good for the reef,” an Eleele School parent chaperone said. “It’s a good thing we had a program to keep the kids occupied and educated. They can’t be on the reef all the time.”
Jean Souza, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Kauai programs manager, coordinated the Eleele School visit, breaking the tour into three major segments with help from agencies and Pacific Missile Range Facility volunteers.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been to this side of the beach,” said Charlee-Ann Grant. “This is real sand.”
Souza headed up the shoreline observations, including the differences in sand and the impact of man on sand composition. The study was part of the nature walk where PMRF volunteers Michael Lomack and Kasheena Jones spearheaded a litter pickup and analysis.
The tide pool visit was spearheaded by Nalasere and Yumi Yasutake, and included observations and water quality testing.
Other stations included limu identification and limu press where students created bookmarks from limu; a study of plankton using aids to magnify plankton and identifying from posters; and a Hawaiian monk seal station which was enhanced by a seal that hauled out on the beach in front of the Salt Pond Beach Park pavilion.