Cindi Punihaole, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator with The Kohala Center, contacted the Keauhou Beach Resort, to inquire if we would like to participate in the Adopt-A-Day At Kahalu’u Bay program. Our employees jumped at the chance to volunteer to become part of the Reef Teach program designed to educate our visitors and guests on ways to help protect the living reef at Kahalu’u Bay. The bay, a very popular snorkel site due to its ease of access and wide variety of coral and fish diversity, is visited by over 400,000 people each year.
Trained Reef Teachers educate visitors about what corals are, their significance to the reef, coral reef ecology, and the different types of fish and invertebrates in Hawaii.
The training began on February 7, with representatives from the Kohala Center providing an educational presentation on reef etiquette and preservation. Then it was out into the bay on March 12. Chris Lochman, a volunteer and on-site instructor for the Kohala Center, led our crew on a snorkeling expedition of the bay and showed them the corals and fish discussed in the classroom training.
Also attending the on-site training was a couple from the Audubon Expedition Institute, who came from the mainland to learn more about reef etiquette. This is a very exciting program for The Kohala Center, who realized their efforts are far-reaching and not just limited to the islands.