Keiki learn to save Maunalua Bay

Published: Jan. 23, 2009 at 9:36 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2009 at 11:55 PM HST
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Hiroyo Dow
Hiroyo Dow
Matt Limtiaco
Matt Limtiaco

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - More efforts are underway to help restore Maunalua Bay on Oahu. Fourth and fifth graders learn to make an environmental difference. Nine-year-old Hiroyo Dow learns environmental lessons in the field and helps to restore Maunalua Bay to a healthy one.

"You get to do hands on activities and you get to look at more stuff," Dow said.

That stuff includes all kinds of invasive algae that has taken over the bay and suffocated the coral reef.

"We got to sort out the prickly seaweed and the gurilla ogo and the hook weed," Dow says. "Were learning how the invasive algae get into the ocean."

Invasive algae have taken over the bay because of high levels of nitrates and phosphates. Those come from human impacts like fertilizers and soap that leach down into the bay.

"You end up seeing a lot of nutrients going out onto our coral reefs and increasing the amount of invasive algae that we have there and thus ruining that ecosystem," Navigating Change coordinator Matt Limtiaco said.

This field trip is the last in a year-long series designed to inspire keiki to bring back the bay.

"Get kids out of the classroom and into an area where they can see some of the problems that are facing the bay," Limtiaco said.

Limtiaco says with all the energy going in to saving the bay he has a lot of hope for its future, especially thanks to the younger generations.

"Were actually engaging not only our kids but our parents our grand parents our neighbors through what these kids are being inspired by," Limtiaco said.

They plan on showcasing what the kids have learned in May.