Makai Watch volunteers and DOCARE officers on Kaua‘i. Photo by DLNR-Makai Watch

Makai Watch volunteers and DOCARE officers on Kaua‘i. Photo by DLNR-Makai Watch

A collaboration effort between the Makai Watch Volunteer Program and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and Division of Aquatic Resources, is offering an updated statewide training series this summer.

On Kaua‘i, the training is Saturday, April 18.

The goal of the Makai Watch Volunteer Program is to enhance the management of near-shore marine resources by providing community members opportunities for direct involvement in management activities.

Makai Watch Volunteers who wish to participate in the program in an official capacity will need to complete the volunteer training and pass a certification test.

The training series follows the official 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.

Helping the state to bring more effective management of Hawaii’s near shore marine resources is the goal of the Makai Watch Volunteer Program, which is assisting the DLNR by acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of conservation enforcement in the community, according to a press release by DLNR last week.

The training includes an updated version of the Observation and Incident Reporting (OIR) Training series released in 2011, along with a newly developed Awareness Raising and Outreach (ARO) component known as ‘Ike Kai (to know, feel, understand, and comprehend, the ocean). This component addresses common regulated species found in Makai Watch areas, ocean management tools, both traditional and modern, and promotes cultural awareness when engaging resource users.

“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.”

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, Project S.E.A.-Link and funding provided by Conservation International Hawaii and the Harold K. Castle Foundation.

Training dates on other islands are: Maui, April 25; Pupukea (O‘ahu), May 2; Maunalua Bay (O‘ahu), May 16; and the Big Island, May 23.

Contact Luna Kekoa at (808) 349-6095 or for more information about the training series or to learn more about the Makai Watch Program.