Keiki Ocean Education program teaches hands-on learning

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Barbara Wiedner of Surfrider Kaua‘i tries out a catch game using hagfish traps, Monday at the Keiki Ocean Education Days at the Cliffs at Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Students Lucy and Ryan Barber of Kailua, Oahu, and Kellen and Darren McCance of California watch with Barbara Wiedner of Surfrider Kaua‘i as Raquel Moody sets up an experiment demonstrating properties of plastic versus glass, Monday during Keiki Ocean Education Days at the Cliffs at Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ryan and Lucy Barber of Kailua, Oahu work to free creatures from the marine netting, Monday during Keiki Ocean Education Days at the Cliffs at Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Darren and Kellen McCance of California look on with their parents as Barbara Wiedner shows the costume she created using marine debris, Monday during Keiki Ocean Education Days at the Cliffs at Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ryan Barber of Kailua, Oahu pulls out a toothbrush from the belly of the Hawaiian monk seal she disentangled as her sister Lucy Barber, Barbara Wiedner of Surfrider Kaua‘i, and other students Kellen and Darren McCance of California look on, Monday during the Keiki Ocean Education Day at the Cliffs at Princeville.

PRINCEVILLE — Adam and Liesl Eberly of Lancaster, Pa., thought a party was going on in the shelter of the pavilion fronting the putting green outside The Cliffs at Princeville Monday morning.

“This is really awesome,” said Adam after being informed the activity was part of Keiki Ocean Education Days at The Cliffs at Princeville. “To raise awareness about the environment is really important. Where we come from, there’s not enough awareness about the environment.”

The Cliffs at Princeville, one of the Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program, partnered with the Surfrider Foundation, Kaua‘i to bring the free ocean education program to people who registered with The Cliff’s concierge Natasha Troche.

Parents taking full advantage of the morning showers joined their keiki who were made aware of the harmful effects of plastics pollution and marine netting, how the marine debris harms people and marine life, and how everyone can make a difference.

Armed with fun activities like disentangling sea creatures, some endangered, and dissecting “rescued” animals, the lessons were hands-on with new words being added to vocabularies that connect with the day-long awareness of plastics pollution and related marine debris.

The Cliffs at Princeville will be offering a second chance at Keiki Ocean Education Days, Aug. 27. People interested in experiencing the ocean awareness can register with Troche at ntroche@cliffsatprinceville.com, or calling 808-826-2005.

Surfrider Kaua‘i Vice Chair Barbara Wiedner, also the organization’s education and outreach chair, said the Keiki Ocean Education Days are drawn from the education programs available to all ages from K through Grade 12.

“Our team goes into the classroom for an interactive presentation followed by a beach cleanup field trip,” Wiedner said. “Surfrider has funds to cover the cost of the buses. I just want to let our community, schools, and youth program know that we are available.”

For more information on arranging educational programs, call Wiedner at 808-635-2593.

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