Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Marine science
center developing
on Maui

The educational center will
be part of upcoming Maalaea
Harbor Village

By Lori Tighe


Maui's "marine education central" is materializing with the recent purchase of nearly an acre of land to house the future Marine Science Education Center.

The nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation, known for whale watching and educating children, bought a 0.75-acre lot in Maalaea Harbor Village for the center.

"Maui just doesn't have the breadth of educational opportunities for marine science as Oahu. This is something for the children on Maui," said Rob Wilder, education director of the Pacific Whale Foundation. "We need it."

It will be near the planned boardwalk through the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and the Maui Ocean Center aquarium, a founding sponsor.

"You could call this area 'marine education central,'" Wilder said.

Pacific Whale Foundation, which will run the center, is partnering with the Maui Ocean Center, which contributed donations early on to buy the land.

"Since you can't put live whales and dolphins on display, we'll have interactive exhibits, marine mammal artifacts, arts and crafts and lecture halls for speakers," Wilder said.

The center's two-story, 8,500-square-foot building, designed by the Maui Architectural Group, will be open to the residents, tourists and schoolchildren.

It will be in the Maalaea Harbor Village, an 18-acre shopping center with an ocean theme, set for completion early this year.

The center's "ocean exploratorium" will offer hands-on displays and a learning lab explaining scientific principles, such as wave formation, sea water chemicals and coastal erosion. It also will feature a resource library with books, magazines, videos and research publications about the ocean, along with Internet connections.

The new center and the Maui Ocean Center will offer cooperative learning opportunities to schools and the public, said Greg Kaufman, president of the Pacific Whale Foundation. "They are joining with us to invest in and support the future of Maui's marine environment," he said.

Profits raised by the foundation's whale watching tours helped pay for the land, along with a loan from the Community Development Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To raise money for the building, the foundation's Whale Day Celebration Feb. 26 will help, along with sales of merchandise at its stores. A "Living Ocean Legacy Wall" will have inscribed names of donors who gave $100 or more.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin