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Surfrider hits education record

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Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:00 am

LIHU‘E — The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.

Here on Kaua‘i, members of Surfrider Executive Committee take the education aspect seriously and work with Kaua‘i schools and Kaua‘i Community College to engage students in environmental stewardship, according to Dr. Carl Berg of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force.

This school year, Surfrider mentored a record number of students doing high school science projects:

• Hi‘ilani Bacon, of Kapa’a High School, studied water quality as it related to sea turtle fibropapiloma tumors.

• Karly Gonzales, of St. Catherine’s School, did a comparison study of water quality in Hanalei streams.

• Athena Tangelder and Valeria Hernandez, of Kapa’a High School, did microbial source tracking in Hanama‘ulu Stream.

• Jensie Suniga and Apryl Erickson tested for eutrophication of Nawiliwili Stream after illegal herbicide spraying.

In addition, three Kaua‘i Community College students in the Marine Options Program worked on Surfrider-mentored special projects:

• Leah Sausen studied groundwater contamination at Ke‘e Beach.

• Jessica Austin monitored marine debris and marked the arrival of Japanese tsunami debris.

• Patricia Hebson developed a Geographic Information System approach to identifying sources of pollution in Kalihi Kai ahupua‘a.

Berg taught hands-on water quality monitoring techniques to students at Kanuikapono Charter School, Mr. Crowe’s marine science classes at Kaua‘i High School, and the Science of the Sea, OCN 201 classes at KCC.

Students also participated in Surfrider’s beach cleanups and the Net Patrol’s removal of derelict nets and ropes. During the summer, Adventures Cross Country brings five groups of students from around the world to Kaua‘i and they, too, help in Net Patrol’s removal and recycling of nets.

For more information about Surfrider’s future events or to get involved, visit http://kauai.surfrider.org.

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