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Foundation to celebrate Wild Dolphin Days

By Staff | Aug 6, 2010

MAALAEA — Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) invites the public to participate in its Wild Dolphin Days celebration on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8.

This annual event honors the wild dolphins that live free in Maui County’s waters and celebrates the Maui County law passed in 2002 that banned the public display of captive whales and dolphins.

“We’re very fortunate that wild spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins inhabit Maui County waters and can be seen and studied near the coasts of Maui and Lanai,” said Tracy Jones, foundation executive director.

“The people of Maui County are committed to protecting wild dolphins, which is why we are one of

the few locations in the world to have a law that prohibits the display of captive whales and dolphins.”

On Saturday, Aug. 7, Pacific Whale Foundation will host its annual Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest at the north end of Keawakapu Beach in Kihei from 9 to 11 a.m. Prizes will be announced around 11:45 a.m.

The free contest is open to everyone. Sculptures can be created by individuals, families or groups. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: “Best Overall Entry by a Family or Group,” “Best Individual or Group Kids” Entry (for kids 12 and under only), “Most Realistic Dolphin,” “Most Creative Entry” and “Funniest Entry.”

The winner for “Best Overall Entry by a Family or Group” will receive passes for a family of four for the foundation’s Wild Dolphin Encounter Cruise.

Winners in other categories will receive dolphin-themed prizes from PWF’s Ocean Store. All participants will receive a free wild dolphin guide and wild dolphin poster.

Participants may register on the morning of the contest at Kewakapu Beach on the sand by the Mana Kai Resort off South Kihei Road. Bring your own buckets, shovels and sculpting tools if you can; PWF will have a limited number for participants to use.

On Sunday, Aug. 8, Dr. Kristen Jule will lead a VIP Wild Dolphin Watch cruise from 9 a.m. to noon from Lahaina Harbor.

Jule is the lead researcher on PWF’s 2010 Odontocete Project, a study of the wild dolphins and toothed whales found off the coasts of Lanai and Maui. This cruise is a great opportunity to learn about this research and some of its intriguing discoveries.

Dolphin sightings are guaranteed on this three-hour

eco-adventure, or customers go again free. Passengers will receive a free wild dolphin guide and dolphin poster.

There will be a 10 percent discount for anyone who participated in the Wild Dolphin Sand Sculpture Contest; PWF members save 20 percent off the retail rate.

For reservations, call 249-8811, extension 1, or visit www.pacificwhale.org and click on “ecotours” and

“dolphin cruises.”