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Youth Making a Difference in Hawaii

Youth throughout the state started work earlier this week for the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program (HYCC). After a weeklong training camp that took place on Oahu, nearly 150 youth will be spending the rest of their summer working with conservation organizations throughout Hawaii. HYCC’s Summer Program provides a once in a lifetime experience to the youth here in Hawaii , while also teaching them life skills, providing the opportunity to earn college credits, a stipend and an educational award. This summer, HYCC teams are hard at work on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, Lanai and Molokai. Kupu, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that administers the HYCC programs, partners with various organizations statewide in order to provide youth with a hands on learning experience in the field of conservation. This year Kupu saw nearly 900 applications for the 150 available positions for the summer program. Each week teams of 10-12 work with different organizations at different locations, working to help restore and preserve Hawaii’s natural resources. Participants apply for one of two types of positions, members and team leaders, and typically range in age from 15-24 years old. The 2010 Summer Program has 15 teams statewide working alongside and learning from conservation managers, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission, and other agencies.

“Before I started HYCC I wanted to leave Hawaii. I thought there was nothing here for me. I now know my place is here working to make Hawaii better than it was and to save our native forests for our future generations,” said Michael Sarsfield, 2009 member and current participant in HYCC’s Hana Hou Summer Program.

HYCC participants work with different organizations at sites that are not always accessible to the general public, including a trip to Kaho’olawe. They work on various projects including invasive species removal and management, native outplanting, wetland restoration and trail maintenance. Participants also gain cultural knowledge and a greater appreciation for Hawaii and its natural resources. HYCC’s programs teach youth the importance of conservation, while helping them to develop vital life skills, and become the next generation of natural resource managers.

“HYCC is an important program in the community. It encourages our youth to get involved in shaping the communities that they are a part of. It helps these students find a depth of knowledge through more dimensions than a book can lend. Hands-on experience with culturally-significant areas and things bring about change through education and responsibility.” Lisa Schattenburg-Raymond, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens.

HYCC teams will be working throughout the state until July 23rd, 2010. For specific information on where the teams are working on each island please contact Brittney Orton at Brittney.orton@kupuhawaii.org, or 735-1221 ext. 1012. For more information about Kupu, visit: http://www.kupuhawaii.org.


Earthquake/Volcano/Tsunami Update Links

Aloha and welcome to our out-of-state readers.

Find Volcano/Earthquake/Tsunami News at the following links:

Honolulu Advertiser (http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com)

Honolulu Star-Bulletin (http://www.starbulletin.com)

TV – NBC Ch. 8 KHNL (http://www.khnl.com)

Big Island Media

West Hawaii Today
Daily Newspaper—Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Herald
Daily Newspaper—Hilo


Kilauea Volcano Update

USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory

U.S. Geological Survey

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Steve and Sophia’s House from Makakilo, Hawaii in West Oahu.

Surfing in Oahu - A Surfer's Paradise

By Jeff Schuman

Surf’s up in Oahu. Long recognized as having some of the best surfing available are the waves on Oahu. Here’s some helpful information regarding surfing in Oahu.

The best time to surf in Oahu is during the winter months from November through March. This is when huge waves come into the north and west coastlines. Storms in the north Pacific are most active over this time and create huge waves.

This makes the North shore of Oahu one of the best locations for surfers from around the world looking for the big wave.

The North shore of Oahu is also where some of the largest and best known surfing competitions are held. In many cases the big waves you see surfers conquering are located at Oahu.

For those people who surf over the summer, they typically head to the south and east locations due to the impact which South Pacific storms have there.

But the best surfing beaches are in the northern part of the island. One the best surfing beaches as rated by many enthusiastic surfers is the Banzai Pipeline. It can be reached by car or bus from Waikiki Beach.

During the winter, you’ll find huge waves rolling in endlessly. The coral shelf and relatively shallow ocean water help to create those famous tubular shapes. These waves look similar to pipes which is how the beach got its name.

And keep in mind that during the summer, this same beach has much calmer water which is great for swimming or simply enjoying the sun and sand.

For those who wish to surf along the south shore, check out Ala Moana. This is a 76 acre park which is located west of Waikiki beach. Not only is surfing popular, but visitors enjoy swimming and body boarding as well.

There are great picnicking spots available and restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and food is available here. It is also a great spot for families to enjoy the beach and then visit nearby Oahu landmarks like the Sea Life Park and Bishop Museum.

The surfing at Ala Moana tends to be frequented by locals who are expert surfers and can navigate the bowls there. Other famous south shore surfing beaches are located near Ala Moana and include Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. The waves here can reach four to six feet in height and this area is known for its raw natural beauty.

This is some useful information and tips on surfing in Hawaii. Surfing in Oahu truly is a surfer’s paradise and an experience not to be missed.
Jeff Schuman hopes you enjoyed this article on surfing in Oahu. He invites you visit his Hawaii Tips website today to see the top things to in Hawaii to make your next vacation or trip to paradise a memorable one.
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Printed From: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1888794_29.html

Reader Feature: A Green Sea Turtle Adventure

A Green Sea Turtle Adventure

By Rico Leffanta

A recent edition of the “Oahu Island News” featured “The Art & Science of the Green Sea Turtle.” So I grabbed a copy to see what more I could learn about this elusive creature.

“The Honolulu Advertiser,” and the “Honolulu Star-Bulletin” then featured articles about green sea turtles basking in the sun on Laniakea Beach. I decided it was time to go there, and see the turtles for myself

I couldn’t find “Laniakea Beach” on any of the tourist maps, nor on any telephone directory maps, so I called The Bus for directions. That truly was the beginning of my green sea turtle adventure!

The Bus operator had never heard of Laniakea Beach; she asked other operators, and they eventually reached a consensus that it was somewhere around La‘ie.

I knew Laniakea Beach wasn’t near La‘ie — I’ve been to all those beaches. So I called the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
After a good 20-minutes of listening to telephone messages explaining why this person, that person, and the other person was not available to answer the telephone, I called the Governor’s office, and was transferred to another person who didn’t know, but who gave me another number to call ad infinitum until I reached a “civil” servant who didn’t have a clue where Laniakea Beach was located, but suggested I call the City & County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department, where neither answering machine nor person knew where Laniakea Beach was located – and had zero interest in finding out what it was!

Then inspiration struck! Why not call a politician? I called the office of Council Chairman Dela Cruz and BINGO! I was immediately informed Laniakea Beach is located on the North Shore, and told exactly when and where to pull The Bus #52 cord for the stop (“when you see all the horses under the tree in the big pasture mauka”wink.

As soon as The Bus drove away, I was disappointed! Laniakea Beach is more of a local dog run than a beach. Other than signs requesting attention and concern for green sea turtles, all I saw were unleashed, flea-bitten dogs roaming up and down a thin strip of sand. I decided to walk back to Hale’iwa, looking for seashells along the way, but after passing the first house, I saw a nice patch of clear water. Irresistible! I jumped in, and went snorkeling.
It wasn’t long before I saw several green sea turtles, but they were not a welcome sight! All of them had missing flippers, damaged shells, or were afflicted with horrible fibropapilloma tumors.

After splashing about without finding anything new or remarkable, I turned back toward shore and saw a bright red fishing float bobbing up and down.
My first instinct was to get out of there fast before some fisherman cast a four-inch hook into my back. Then I noticed the float was attached to a green sea turtle, and it was swimming right at me!

I took a couple of photos before it dawned on me that the turtle’s right flipper was cinched so tight by fishing line, it was about the size of a toddler’s wrist!
What to do?

I knew green sea turtles were an endangered/threatened species, and that it is illegal to approach/touch them, but this turtle was clearly in a predicament. Fishing line ran from her flipper to her mouth, and I didn’t know if it was because this turtle had swallowed a hook, or if she was just trying to pull the line off of her flipper.

I decided to risk it, and set about trying to unravel the fishing line. The turtle “hung loose” until I reached a place where the line was really snarled, then she instinctively pulled away from me.

In no time at all, I learned I was no match for a turtle in the open sea, despite the difference in size!

Like the Cavalry coming to the rescue, suddenly I saw surfer Lane Davey heading to shore, and hollered to her for help. Lane said she would call it in as soon as she got home, and if no one from NOAA could respond, she would come back straight away with a pair of scissors to cut the fishing line.
In the meantime, I tried to herd the turtle ashore so the operation could commence in a timely manner.

Big surprise! I quickly learned that I was no match for a determined turtle on shore! The turtle used her superior knowledge to catch the next wave out, dragging me along behind like a rag doll!

Eventually, I let go and soon lost track of her. Back on shore I met NOAA’s angel, Cori Wilbanks. We sighted the turtle again, but Cori decided the current was too strong for a rescue attempt, so we would just have to wait until the turtle beached herself.

I waited around the beach for several hours with no luck at all, and decided to head for home. Just as I reached The Bus stop, Cori gave a shout, and there was the turtle waving a bright red fishing float as it struggled ashore!

Cori recognized the turtle as NOAA’s “L6”, and with the help of a few volunteers, set about cutting the fishing line from the flipper of a very uncooperative turtle patient! Then, without any sign of gratitude, “L6” decided it was naptime.

According to George Balazs, NOAA Turtle Research Program leader, the fishing line was cinched so tight around her flipper that any further delay may have resulted in amputation.

So the fishermen lost and NOAA won one more battle to save the green sea turtle.

Although this may appear to be a happy ending to a green sea turtle adventure, it isn’t.

“L6” may have escaped amputation this time, but we all know that fishermen will continue casting their fishing lines amongst divers, surfers, swimmers and turtles, just like we know people will continue to let their pets run loose on the beach.

Aloha isn’t just a saying; we must all live it.

Rico Leffanta is a retired senior citizen and lives in Honolulu.

New federal regulations concerning “accidentally” hooking a green sea turtle can be found on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wed site at: http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/pir/news/sbst.pdf with a copy of the handling regulations at:

July 2015