During this time of social distancing, we invite you to join us in our 30-Day Countdown to Earth Day virtual event! Follow the daily prompts beginning on Tuesday, March 24 (which is day 1; making Earth Day – or, Wednesday, April 22 – day 30) and post a photo to match that day’s challenge! Be sure to use hashtag #EarthDayPWF and tag us at @pacificwhalefoundation so that we can repost our favorites each day.
On Saturday, June 8, 2018, Pacific Whale Foundation was proud to present World Oceans Day on Maui, with special events at Kahului Harbor, Paia Bay, Kam III, Maalaea, Olowalu and Maui Brewing Company in Kihei. World Oceans Day is an annual celebration of the ocean, its importance to our lives, and how each of us can protect it, no matter where we live. Held on June 08, this year’s theme was ‘Together We Can’, encouraging people from around the world to share what they are doing to protect the ocean, showcasing the idea that, together, we can make a difference. “This free Pacific Whale Foundation outreach event really helps us to teach and learn from our friends in the field about small steps each of us can take to make a huge impact, when practiced as a community,” remarked Executive Director Kristie Wrigglesworth. Event highlights included beach clean ups at Kahului Harbor, Paia Bay and Kam III; a free PacWhale Eco-Adventures cruise from Maalaea to Olowalu for a hands-on plankton-tow activity, snorkel reef cleanup and sea-surface microplastic sampling; movie night at Paia Bay coffee; a Front Street Treasure Hunt; a ‘Pollution Solutions’ art contest for keiki; and a Party for the Ocean at Maui Brewing Co. 1,056 pounds of debris were collected throughout the day by 168 participating volunteers. 72% of the total debris was removed from Kahului Harbor -50 bags of trash weighing 760 lbs, including 242 feet of fishing line-, 246 lbs at Kam III, and 50 lbs at Paia Bay. 64% of the debris collected was plastic. On the microplastic ecotour, 68 citizen scientists collected 36, 16 oz containers of surface water from Olowalu. After our Research team analyzed the samples, they found 246 pieces of microplastics and 165 microfibers, which equates to 0.43 microplastics per oz of seawater and 0.29 microfibers per oz of seawater. Last year, 36 samples were collected and 0.14 microplastics per oz of seawater were found. (no data for microfibers) According to Pacific Whale Foundation Senior Research Analyst Jens Currie, the microplastic counts are baseline data, and the team will be looking to see how these trends change over time as we continue this annual event. “Everyone needs to play a part,” states António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, “You can make a difference today – and every day – by doing simple things like carrying your own water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bags, recycling the plastic you buy, avoiding products that contain microplastics and volunteering for a local clean-up.” Party for the Ocean was a success, with over 150 people stopping by to play Oceans Day Bingo, make their own microplastic-free body scrub, learn how to host a green event, and catch up on Pacific Whale Foundation’s core Research, Education and Conservation work. Congratulations to Mikaela Petrilli for winning the drawing for our Keiki Plastic Pollution Solutions art contest!
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Our thoughts go out to all that are being impacted by COVID-19. With a team dedicated to our response to this pandemic, we are meeting regularly to ensure the continuation of programs and services that allow our mission work to continue.
Pacific Whale Foundation’s leadership team is closely monitoring updates from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19. We will continue to seek guidance from these agencies, public health officials and government agencies on an ongoing basis.
The role that our organization plays in keeping people connected for the sake of the environment is incredibly important in times like these. If we all take the proper precautions and continue to treat each other with kindness and care, we’ll get through this together.
How is PacWhale Eco-Adventures addressing COVID-19?
-Following guidance from Hawaii State and County officials, PacWhale is suspending Eco Tours and our Retail Store operations from March 20th – April 30th.
- To support our employees, we are offering paid, temporary emergency sick leave, restricting all non-essential business travel, deep cleaning work areas, offering teleworking and flexible work schedules, and continuing to communicate updates and reinforce good hygiene practices.
How is Pacific Whale Foundation addressing COVID-19?
-Spring Break Ocean Camp has been cancelled.
-Keiki Whalewatches are being cancelled for the remainder of the season.
- Our marine research and conservation programs will continue to run without disruption.