April 09 2013

Kaua’i BWTF hits education record

by Mara Dias

as printed by The Garden Island

Here on Kaua‘i, members of Surfrider Executive Committee take the education aspect seriously and work with Kaua‘i schools and Kaua‘i Community College to engage students in environmental stewardship, according to Dr. Carl Berg of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force.

This school year, Surfrider mentored a record number of students doing high school science projects:

• Hi‘ilani Bacon, of Kapa’a High School, studied water quality as it related to sea turtle fibropapiloma tumors.

• Karly Gonzales, of St. Catherine’s School, did a comparison study of water quality in Hanalei streams.

• Athena Tangelder and Valeria Hernandez, of Kapa’a High School, did microbial source tracking in Hanama‘ulu Stream.

• Jensie Suniga and Apryl Erickson tested for eutrophication of Nawiliwili Stream after illegal herbicide spraying.

In addition, three Kaua‘i Community College students in the Marine Options Program worked on Surfrider-mentored special projects:

• Leah Sausen studied groundwater contamination at Ke‘e Beach.

• Jessica Austin monitored marine debris and marked the arrival of Japanese tsunami debris.

• Patricia Hebson developed a Geographic Information System approach to identifying sources of pollution in Kalihi Kai ahupua‘a.

Berg taught hands-on water quality monitoring techniques to students at Kanuikapono Charter School, Mr. Crowe’s marine science classes at Kaua‘i High School, and the Science of the Sea, OCN 201 classes at KCC.

Students also participated in Surfrider’s beach cleanups and the Net Patrol’s removal of derelict nets and ropes. During the summer, Adventures Cross Country brings five groups of students from around the world to Kaua‘i and they, too, help in Net Patrol’s removal and recycling of nets.

In addition to engaging students, Berg also gives lectures to community groups and the general public about water quality conditions in Kaua'i.  See press coverage of his lectures here and here.

Click here to see where the Kaua'i Chapter is testing or here to learn more about their program.


The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), presented by Emergen-C Blue®, helps local chapters alert citizens and officials in their communities about water quality issues and works to implement solutions. As clean water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, Emergen-C Blue is committed to supporting, enhancing, and extending the efforts of the BWTF by donating 20 cents for every box sold to further the important work being done to improve water quality. For more information about Emergen-C Blue and the Emergen-C Fund, please visit myemergenc.com/fund .

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