Tours and labs are our main outreach to the community. More on stats in the upcoming newsletter, but - over 4,000 school and community members were able to visit Coconut Island through the Community Education Volunteer's efforts last year. As one of the instructors noted to his students today, "You will never forget this field trip, for your whole life - that one time, you were able to come to Coconut Island."
And they won't, this is such a unique place.
It allows us the opportunity to show how we deserve to be here, working for the good of the oceans and Hawaii. Nor do our volunteers stop with just leading tours. Joe O'Reilly, who started the tour program, heads up our Animal Care Group, keeping the touch tank going and advising me on animal care decisions. Deena leads the Human Impacts study group, with her compatriot Mike Coad - counting coral colonies for science. Megan is working on a plankton guide. Ruth edits our wonderful newsletter and there are many more. As each person visits the island and meets our volunteers, they continue to go away impressed.
My sincere thanks to HIMB's volunteers - both in our Education programs and in all of the other programs as well. Running a marine lab is a hard business. There is never enough money and much of the money that does come in through grants can't be used for all the things we actually need. Volunteers nourish HIMB. Volunteers make HIMB happen!