Whale Sanc­tu­ary Seeks New Ad­vis­ers

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - EAST OAHU ISLANDER / JANUARY 6, 2010 / - By LINDA DELA CRUZ

The Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­vi­sory coun­cil of the Hawai­ian Is­lands Hump­back Whale Na­tional Marine Sanc­tu­ary needs new mem­bers, and applications are due by Jan. 31 to the sanc­tu­ary’s Hawaii Kai head­quar­ters.

Eight pri­mary seats, eight al­ter­nate seats and one new, non-vot­ing stu­dent seat (ages 14-17) are open to rep­re­sent Na­tive Hawai­ians, Hawaii’s coun­ties, and the fish­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and re­search com­mu­ni­ties. The vol­un­tary group is a con­duit be­tween pub­lic and sanc­tu­ary man­age­ment, and mem­bers serve twoyear terms. They must per­son­ally at­tend three meet­ings yearly and may have other phone and video con­fer­ences.

The coun­cil works with the Army Corps of En­gi­neers, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, WES­PAC and oth­ers, and ob­serves hump­back whale pop­u­la­tions in the North Pa­cific.

“The num­bers are small,” pointed out coun­cil pres­i­dent Bill Friedl. “They could be in dan­ger of fur­ther de­cline. We con­tinue to hold the di­a­logue and track this process.” They also seek to pro­tect Hawai­ian monk seals, whales, dol­phins, sea tur­tles, etc.

Sanc­tu­ary su­per­in­ten­dent Naomi McIn­tosh said the coun­cil helps the sanc­tu­ary con­nect to com­mu­ni­ties in Hawaii by keep­ing man­age­ment in­formed of cur­rent is­sues. With the new stu­dent mem­ber, they hope to im­prove com­mu­nity links as well, she said.“The in­ter­est and en­thu­si­asm of youths is what will pro­vide the con­nec­tion to the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion of ocean ste­wards and leaders.”

“They will ei­ther clean up af­ter our mess or con­tinue pro­grams that we start,” Friedl added.

From the ap­pli­cant pool, McIn­tosh rec­om­mends the best candidates to NOAA and the state.

The next meet­ing is set for Feb. 8 in the sanc­tu­ary con­fer­ence room. For de­tails, call Joe Paulin at 397-2651, or log onto www.hawai­ihump­back­whale.noaa.gov.

Applications should be sent to Paulin at 6600 Kala­ni­anaole Hwy., Suite 301, Honolulu, HI 96825. The of­fice is on the third floor in the same build­ing as Roy’s Restau­rant.

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