East Hawaii News

Makai Watch Program Training Series

April 8, 2015, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated April 8, 10:31 AM
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The Makai Watch Program has assisted the State of Hawai’i by bringing in more effective management of Hawai’i’s shore marine resources.

With the goal of enhancing the management of near-shore marine resources by providing community members with opportunities for direct involvement in management activities, Makai Watch acts as the “eyes and ears” of conservation enforcement in communities throughout Hawai’i.

An updated training series for the program is scheduled to take place across the state beginning mid-April. At the trainings, interested volunteers can gain the certification needed to participate in the program. In order to become a Makai Watch volunteer, individuals must complete the training and pass a certification test.

The Big Island trainings will be held by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of conservation and Resources Enforcement, in collaboration with program partners and funders. On the Big Island, the training will be held on May 23, following trainings on Kaua’i, Maui, and Oahu that will occur beginning on April 18.

During the training, individuals will be exposed to an updated version of the Observation and Incident Reporting series that was released in 2011, in addition to a newly developed Awareness Raising and Outreach component known as ‘Ike Kai. This component addresses common regulated species found in Makai Watch areas and promotes cultural awareness when engaging resource users.

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“The ‘Ike Kai curriculum was an opportunity to weave in the cultural awareness involved with the management and enforcement of near shore resources”, said Edward Luna Kekoa, statewide Makai Watch coordinator. “Many Makai Watch volunteers interact with local families and fishermen, and by sharing some of those cultural sensitivities, we believe those interactions will be more positive and productive.”

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These training programs come after the recognition of the State of Hawai’i Makai Watch Program by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. The designation recognizes Makai Watch’s compliance with the newly established requirements of the state program.

Additionally, the Makai Watch Program is an officially recognized DLNR program in partnership with non-governmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Kua’aina Ulu Auamo, Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, and Project S.E.A.– Link. Funding is provided by Conservation International Hawai’i and the Harold K. Castle Foundation.

To learn more about the training series or about the Makai Watch Program, call Luna Kekoa at (808) 349-6095 or e-mail [email protected].

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