We have five opportunities for volunteering at Kahalu‘u Bay. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-887-6411 if you are interested in volunteering.
Become a ReefTeacher! Join the effort to save Kahalu‘u Bay’s corals and educate visitors on the importance of Hawai‘i’s coral reef ecosystem…ReefTeaching is effective and fun!
Since 2000, volunteer ReefTeachers of all ages have been teaching hundreds of visitors to Kahalu‘u Bay how to enjoy the bay without adversely impacting the fragile coral reef environment. Trained volunteers use picture boards, reference books, and field guides to teach visitors about delicate coral and the organisms that depend upon coral for food and shelter. In particular, ReefTeachers emphasize how swimmers should avoid touching or standing on coral, removing anything from the reef, feeding the fish, or disturbing the turtles that feed and bask in the bay.
As well as teaching people about the reef, volunteers collect data about human use, such as how many people are on the beach and snorkeling at different times. In addition, volunteers collect in-water data about how visitors are interacting with the reef and marine life while snorkeling. Data collected by volunteers demonstrates that visitors educated by ReefTeach volunteers are less likely to stand on or touch coral.
Volunteers are trained by KBEC’s marine science instructors. Interested volunteers are asked to attend two training sessions — one classroom and one on-site. The classroom training session covers basic coral reef ecology, reef etiquette, data collection protocols, different approaches to educating our visitors on the beach, and volunteer scheduling. The on-site orientation session at Kahalu‘u Bay includes a site orientation, description of educational materials, snorkel tour of the bay, and initiation to ReefTeaching. All volunteers get a free ReefTeach T-shirt!
Classroom Lecture: Two-hour session
Location: Bakken Foundation Office in Kaloko district north of Kailua-Kona, across the street from Home Depot on the second floor. North of Kaloko Furniture building.
On-Site Training: One-hour session
Location: Kahalu‘u Beach Park. Bring your snorkel gear.
Become a Citizen Scientist! Join our water-quality monitoring efforts at Kahalu‘u Bay.
Citizen Science is both an ecosystem health monitoring program and a community education and training program. This is an excellent opportunity for participants of all ages to learn how to properly collect water samples and, more importantly, understand the lab results and their implications. Residences, businesses, transportation networks, golf courses, new construction, and resorts can all impact water quality.
With support from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), Citizen Scientists monitor temperature, pH, salinity, conductivity, turbidity and dissolved oxygen twice a week at five predetermined sites in the bay. Samples undergo analysis for dissolved nutrient inputs on a quarterly basis at NELHA. Participants are responsible for collecting water samples using proper sampling protocol learned during training. Once collected, observations about water clarity, tide level, and weather conditions are annotated. Data is recorded and stored for further analysis in conjunction with quarterly nutrient analysis.
This training session will cover basic information about water quality monitoring, how to properly use the YSI 556 and HACH 2100P, hand-held equipment to monitor water quality components, how to collect samples for nutrient analysis, and how to prepare the data collected. Collection of water quality data takes place twice a week at Kahalu‘u Bay and you can pick the day that’s best for you.
Become a KBEC volunteer!
KBEC volunteers welcome our guests and inform them about reef etiquette and marine life identification, help visitors be properly fitted with snorkel rental equipment, and provide assistance with our retail products.
Your organization can make a difference, one day a week, one day a month, or one day a year!
Employees of businesses, schools or other organizations can take on a day of teaching at the bay. At least 36 organizations on the west coast of Hawai‘i have adopted a day, including Full Life, University of the Nations Foundation School, Innovations Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy, Hualalai Adacemy, Family Support Services, Fair Winds, Huggo’s, Jack’s Diving Locker, Starbucks, Keauhou Beach Resort, and the Mayor’s Office of Kona.
If you are interested in our Adopt-a-Day program, an experienced Marine Science instructor will train your staff with a 1.5 hour PowerPoint presentation on reef education. We can arrange a training location, or come to your location to train your staff or members. In addition, your business or organization will receive a Certificate of Completion.
Train-the-Trainer: Your staff or members can become ReefTeachers too!
According to the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) State of Hawai‘i over 1.6 million visitors came to the Island of Hawai‘i in 2006. The majority of our visitors want to experience the beauty of our shore and ocean resources. Our Train-the-Trainer program provides commercial visitor industries and organizations the opportunity to learn about our reef system and reef etiquette. Through this educational process, the staff, once trained, will be able to educate the visitors that patronize their businesses.
ReefTeach Train-the-Trainer Program is an effort to educate staff and members of businesses and organizations on the Island of Hawai‘i in how to avoid damaging corals, and how to take care of our turtles and our reef animals. The objective of our program is to provide consistent and accurate information when educating the visitors about our coral reef system.
If you are interested in our Train-the-Trainer program, an experienced Marine Science instructor will train your staff with a 1.5 hour PowerPoint presentation on reef education. We will share our ReefTeach Reference Book with you so that it can be used as a teaching tool with your visitors. In addition, your business will receive a Certificate of Completion.
Email info@kohalacenter or call 808-887-6411 if you are interested in either of these programs.