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Kaanapali Makai Watch brainstorming future projects

By Staff | Feb 17, 2011

Volunteers worked on various projects at the last Kaanapali Makai Watch meeting. Photo by Luna Kekoa.

KAANAPALI — The Kaanapali Makai Watch program will host a community workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lahaina Civic Center.

The public is invited to get involved and join an “Action Team” to help carry out various projects of a wide scope and appeal in support of the program, its partners and broader marine education and conservation goals for Maui.

This meeting is a follow-up to a similar one held in Kihei in January, where significant traction was gained on multiple projects.

The Kaanapali Makai Watch program will now resume holding meetings in Lahaina and via small working groups.

According to Kaanapali Makai Watch Coordinator Luna Kekoa, “Now that we have made a small step to brainstorm through some projects and the feasibility of them, our next focus is to gather input from the community in Kaanapali and how they see the projects in their own area.”

The workshop’s agenda will include an overview of the Kaanapali Makai Watch program and its objectives, to be followed by break out groups led by pre-assigned experienced community volunteers.

The majority of objectives and tasks will have already been outlined for participants, making it easy to get involved and play a role in these “shovel ready” projects.

Additional scoping of projects will take advantage of participants’ interests, ideas and expertise.

Community volunteer Don Judy said, “This is a chance for local people to learn more about our most important natural resources… the ocean, whales, fish, coral. Come to the meeting and ask yourself, ‘How can I help?’ We need all the help you want to contribute.”

Projects include:

1) Engaging youth in mentorship and career development opportunities involving marine science, education, resource management and marine tourism.

2) K-12 Educational Outreach — Developing curriculum, strategies and projects that can be carried out independently by teachers in support of local conservation themes, visiting classrooms and working with youth groups to introduce topics and activities.

3) Hospitality Industry Engagement — Working to develop materials, tools and strategies that will assist local hotels in conveying stewardship themes to their staff and guests.

4) Outreach to the Fishing Community — Volunteers are sought to assist in informal outreach strategies to interact with and provide educational materials to individuals within the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area in Kaanapali, specifically in support of the area and its rules and regulations.

5) Onsite Educational Outreach — Establishing a new education station within the boundaries of the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area. Developing outreach materials and strategies and enlisting volunteers to staff the station.

6) Stewardship Action Blogging Team — Establishing a team of community volunteers who will report on various local opportunities, events and outcomes via a consolidated online presence at mauioceanbloggers.blogspot.com. This project will be linked to an upcoming workshop hosted by CORAL and Hawaii EcoTube, where participants will learn how to use Flip video cameras and contribute to social media platforms.

Liz Foote, Kaanapali Makai Watch co-coordinator, encourages people to attend this meeting to meet others from the community and get involved in fun and meaningful projects.

“Whether you’d like to play a minor or major role, and regardless of your experience and expertise, we’ve got something for you to help out with and make a difference,” she said.

“The ideas exchanged at our last meeting were very inspiring, and we’d like to build from that. We also want to promote this as a fun social opportunity as well. And while we’ll provide some refreshments, we’d like to encourage people to bring a pupu or desert to share, potluck-style.”

To register, contact Foote at 669-9062 or e-mail Lfoote@coral.org.

The Kaanapali Makai Watch program continues to seek volunteers to assist with general opportunities in biological and human use monitoring, as well as education and outreach.

Upcoming field days at Kahekili will provide opportunities to get involved. The program’s “Saturday Something Series” will offer various activities onsite at Kahekili Beach Park at least one day a month.

For more information, contact Foote or Kekoa at edward.l.kekoa@hawaii.gov. Follow the Kaanapali Makai Watch program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaanapalimakaiwatch.