LIHU‘E — Families and keiki are invited to get free grab-and-go ocean learning kits Saturday at Kukui Grove Center in front of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, the Pop-up Nature Store in Kong Lung Center in Kilauea, and at the Princeville Public Library.
“Kaua‘i’s seabirds are the focus of the latest ocean-learning kits,” said Jean Souza, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Kaua‘i programs specialist.
“Seabird education is of special importance at this time of the year, when young seabirds leave their nests in the mountains and fly out to sea for the first time.”
Limited supplies of the grab-and-go kits will be available from 9 a.m. at the Princeville Public Library; from 11 a.m. at the Pop-up Nature Store in the Kong Lung Center in Kilauea; and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the table fronting the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, still closed due to the pandemic.
COVID-19-compliant safety measures, including the wearing of face masks and social-distancing, will be observed at all of the distribution points.
A seabird-learning station will be set up near the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery pickup point and staffed by a Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge intern, and Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges.
“There is a lot that people can do to help these rare seabirds, especially during this vulnerable time of their life,” said Souza. “Some of these helpful suggestions include controlling household lights at night that can confuse fledglings, and knowing how to rescue a seabird in trouble.”
The free kits that appeal to families and a range of student grade levels include paper copies as well as online resources for further learning. The kits are a result of partnerships among the premier seabird-conservation programs on Kaua‘i, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges, Save Our Shearwaters and the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project in the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The kits were coordinated by Souza, on-site manager for Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, and supported by the Princeville Public Library.
Kit contents include a 28-page SOS Seabird Activity book, a brochure on Birds of Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, seabird, bird and junior ranger activity sheets, including easy instructions on conducting a backyard bird count, information sheets on how to help seabirds, and fun facts about A‘o, or the Newell’s shearwater, and coloring sheet on how to rescue a seabird.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.