Help Protect Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
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With an estimated 3,000 visitors to Hanauma Bay each day, coupled with this recent news of its #1 ranking being released just ahead of Memorial Day weekend -- which is sure to drive even additional visitor interest to the historic, cultural, and natural gem -- changes need to be made to better educate visitors on preserving the coral reef and protecting marine life.
Upon visiting the park on any of the six days of the week the Nature Preserve & Marine Life Conservation District is open to visitors, one is sure to see a large number of snorkelers standing on the reef, as well as disturbing sea turtles and other marine life.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve currently makes it mandatory for each visitor to first watch a 9-minute video about the history of Hanauma Bay, the types of fish and coral one is likely to see while snorkeling, and helpful tips and information for avoiding damage to the reef and marine life.
Unfortunately, the video includes numerous clips of people standing on the reef and also a person approaching a sea turtle with hands outstretched as if trying to touch the threatened species.
Additionally, beyond the educational center, upon descending down the hill to the beach and on the beach itself there are hardly any reminders to avoid contact with the reef.
Below are the requested changes:
1) Currently, the introduction video that is mandatory for each visitor shows people walking on the reef and a person trying to closely interact with a sea turtle. We would request a budgetary allotment be made for a remake or edit of the video to remove these scenes which are likely to confuse non-English speakers and English speakers alike. Those not closely listening to the narrative but watching the film are likely to be left with the impression that these prohibited actions are acceptable practices.
2) Place more prominent and visual image heavy signage on the descent to the beach, at the beach itself, and at the Information and Snorkel Renting centers on the beach front regarding not stepping on or touching coral, stirring up sediment, or touching, disturbing or threatening marine life. As Hanauma Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), one would expect that Hanauma Bay would have high quality signage on par with those found at Pupakea MLCD.
3) Encourage lifeguard staff to issue reminders by megaphone to visitors that standing on the reef is not permitted or provide on-beach staff of the Preserve to serve in this capacity.
4) Provide educational signs with multiple translations to account for the global demographic of visitors that flock to Hanauma Bay each day.
Please sign this petition to encourage Hanauma Bay Management and Education Program Directors, Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Land & Natural Resources, State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, and our elected representatives to take further action aimed at better educating visitors to Hanauma Bay about the environmental impacts of standing on or otherwise damaging the coral reef, as well as the impacts of disturbing or otherwise threatening marine life.
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