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Recipe for conservation

October 30, 2013
Na Kilo Aina gathers

Kids at Na Kilo Aina 2013

What is a good recipe for conservation? Mix one part kids with many parts of nature, add in some fresh air, bake in the sunshine then blend vigorously with a few sprinkles of learning activities loaded with fun. Servings: unlimited.

Kids, families, kupuna (elders), and community members gathered to participate in the first Na Kilo Aina fish camp in Kawaihae during the 2013 fall break. A lot of the activities occurred in nature on the land (aina) and the ocean (kai) within the corridor of Hawaii’s only “living” national trail, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Hiking the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

Hiking the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

Na Kilo Aina is for “strengthening the KILO or observer in each of us and begin the journey to better understand the many moods and characteristics of Kawaihae to achieve a state of AINA MOMONA: a lush, rich, abundant, and productive land and ocean.” Na Kilo Aina was hosted by Kailapa Community Association in partnership with University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant program and many community partners. It is  the most recent of several local community fish camps on the Big Island that are an initiative of and funded by Conservation International’s Hawaii Fish Trust.

The kids not only spent time in and around the ocean but also learned about these topics: human use, fish anatomy, urchin gonad index, fish identification, reef survey and intertidal survey. A visit to Liquid Robotics highlighted new technology while a canoe building workshop gave them a glimpse into ancient proficiency. They gained and added skills and knowledge for their continuing roles as conservationists and caretakers of Hawaii.

To take a peek at one of their projects, watch Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail’s Facebook page during the week of October 28 through November 1, 2013 for a series of photos showing the phases of their urchin gonad study. Go to:

Photo credits: Pelika Bertlemann, Nahaku Kalei and others.

Urchin study specimens

Urchin study specimens

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