Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery offers learning kits

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery center is still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but free Grab-&-Go Ocean Learning kits will be distributed to students and families, Friday from noon to 2 p.m. outside of the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery center at the Kukui Grove Center.

Jean Souza, the Kaua‘i programs specialist for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, made the announcement, Tuesday, noting that the theme for this latest batch of learning kits is marine mammals of Hawai‘i.

“We are preparing a larger amount of learning kits in anticipation of the popularity of marine mammals,” Souza said. “Kits that are remaining after the 2 p.m. cutoff will be available at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i while supplies last.”

Content sponsors of the learning kits include the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the NOAA Fisheries, and the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources.

The kits that are adaptable for a range of youth will include a marine mammals of Hawai‘i poster, humpback whale and false killer whale information, marine mammal viewing guidelines and stranding information, Hawaiian monk seal bookmarks and information, coloring sheets, instructions for an origami, or Japanese paper folding, whale and origami paper to create a whale, and a list of online resources for further learning.

The ocean learning kits distribution coincides with the Get Into Your Sanctuary celebration this weekend and is being coordinated by Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, a project of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

While the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery remains closed, the learning kits distribution is one of several that continues to meet the needs of the community, Souza said.

Get Into Your Sanctuary Weekend goes virtual, July 31 to Aug. 2 for a unique opportunity to experience all of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System from wherever a person is living. A full listing of the presentations can be found at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/visit/giys.html.

All of the events, including learning the tips and tricks to sustainable fishing in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, or exploring some of the best-preserved and most accessible shipwrecks in the world in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and learning the responsible way to recreate among them will be available through Facebook Live and Facebook Watch Party through the NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Facebook page.

The Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest is open through Sept. 7 (Labor Day weekend) where winning entries from submissions from photos of the National Marine Sanctuary System will be featured in next year’s Earth is Blue magazine, and on the Earth is Blue social media campaign.

More information is available at https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/photo-contest.html.

Information: 651-1457, or email Jean.Souza@noaa.gov.

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