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Ocean Awareness Training to be offered in Lahaina

By Staff | Mar 31, 2011

Ocean Awareness Training instructors include Ka‘au Abraham and Patty Miller of the National Marine Sanctuary, Liz Foote (above) of the Coral Reef Alliance, Pauline Fiene, John Mitchell of Digital Bus and other marine biologists.

LAHAINA — Local environmental organizations on Maui and the National Marine Sanctuary are joining forces to offer a free Ocean Awareness Training certification course to the community and commercial marine tour operators.

The course will be offered at Lahaina Civic Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on April 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28, and in Kihei at the National Marine Sanctuary office on Mondays and Wednesdays, April 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27. Plan to attend one location or the other.

After completing all six sessions, participants will receive a CORAL (Care of our Culture, Ocean, Reefs and Animal Life) certification card that demonstrates ocean knowledge.

This free training course will provide marine tour operators and community volunteers with up-to-date knowledge and interpretive skills to properly educate visitors about Hawaii’s unique marine environment.

Designed to provide outreach tools and resources, each workshop will cover the basics for anyone out on the water or onshore talking with visitors, from community volunteers to professional water craft operators, guides and owners.

Course topics will include Hawaiian perspectives of ocean and land management, Hawaiian fish names, reef ecosystems, fish identification, marine invertebrates, seaweeds, turtles, and fisheries management and baselines.

This certification will also help participants meet the requirements for volunteer positions as a sanctuary docent and other island-wide volunteer programs where volunteers assist certified professional guides and owners.

“The Ocean Awareness Training course was an excellent experience! This course should be mandatory for all tour guides and operators that care about the environment and want to have the latest info about our local marine ecosystem,” said Paul Noble, owner of Maui Kayaks.

Space is limited. Register online at www.oceanawarehawaii.org/ and confirm with Bo Petty at 879-2818, extension 22.