DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
New Interpretive Signs Installed At Kealakekua Bay
KAILUA-KONA, HAWAI‘I -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), working in partnership with the Big Island community, has installed a series of four interpretive signs at two locations along the Napo‘opo‘o shoreline of Kealakekua Bay – one set at the Napo‘opo‘o Wharf and the other at the end of Napo‘opo‘o Beach Road. The signs highlight the marine resources of the bay and are designed to educate, and promote visitor respect for the dolphins, corals, and reef fish living there.
“We are grateful the Napo‘opo‘o community assisted with installation of the signs,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson. “We especially thank Gordon Leslie who oversaw the installation of a concrete pad to house the signs at the end of Napo‘opo‘o Beach Road, and Dick Kuenher, who helped design the layout for the signs,”
“We also thank the County of Hawai’i for their support of this project in allowing the creation of a visitor lookout and placement of the signs at the end of the roadway,” he said.
“We believe these signs will be a valuable addition to State lands around Kealakekua Bay because they will heighten visitor awareness and understanding of the special and very fragile marine resources of this most historic place” said Young.
The project was developed cooperatively by DLNR’s divisions of Aquatic Resources, Boating and Ocean Recreation, and State Parks, which together manage the resources of the bay, and the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College, which designed the signs. The four signs feature:
•Dolphins of the Bay. A pod of spinner dolphins frequents the calm waters of Kealakekua Bay to rest. These dolphins are easily disturbed by boaters and snorkelers who sometimes approach them in the bay. This sign asks visitors to give the dolphins their space and to not disturb them.
•Corals are Alive. Many visitors to Kealakekua Bay snorkel at Ka‘awaloa. This site on the north side of the bay provides one of the best sites to view corals and a diversity of reef fish. But the corals are subject to damage by snorkelers and divers who touch or step on them. This sign identifies some of the most common corals and asks visitors to help protect these living organisms.
•Exploring the Bay. The marine life of Kealakekua Bay is both diverse and fragile. This sign shares some of the diversity by pointing out, using aerial photographs, the underwater communities that consist of sandy bottoms, rocky outcrops, coral shelves, and boulder concentrations.
•Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD). Kealakekua Bay was designated a MLCD in 1969 and encompasses 315 acres. This sign informs people about the various rules designed to protect the marine resources in the bay.
The sign panels and frames were funded by the DLNR State Parks Special Fund as part of its Parks Interpretive Program with a $2,000 donation from NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service to assist with the production of the dolphin signs.
Dolphins of the bay
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