KEAHOLE CENTER FOR SUSTAINABILITY LAUNCHES NATURAL HISTORY TOUR
KEAHOLE-KONA, HAWAI‘I ISLAND—Keahole Center for Sustainability (KCS), the nonprofit providing guided, public tours at NELHA’s Hawai‘i Ocean and Science Technology Park (HOST), offers a new weekly activity.
Focusing on the unique habitat at Keahole Point, the Guided Coastal Natural History Tour is 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Participants will learn about the ecology at Makako Bay and varied coastal plants while watching for resident and migrant seabirds, tidepool inhabitants and marine life.
Leading the tours is veteran professional Eco Tour Guide Lance Tanino, who shares use of a high-powered field scope to get close-up views of natureʻs attractions. A Hawai‘i native and birding enthusiast, Tanino has degrees in zoology and environmental studies and serves as the Hawai‘i regional editor for numerous national birding associations.
“Every creature in nature has a story and I enjoy pointing out information most people arenʻt aware of,” says Tanino, of hawaiibirdingguide.com. “Tours will be small and can easily be customized for preferences and capabilities.”
The activity covers about a half-mile of coastline, ending at the Keahole Point Light, a beacon marking the westernmost point of Hawai‘i Island. Participants will traverse white beach sand contrasting with black, smooth pahoehoe lava left from the 1801 Hu‘ehu’e flow from Hualalai volcano. Fringed by deep blue ocean, the stark lava coastline is rich with tidepools and their colorful marine invertebrates. The lava terrain is also home to naturally formed rock basins where water collects, evaporates and leaves behind natural salt deposits.
After checking in with Tanino in KCSʻs parking lot, which is located at HOST Parkʻs iconic Platinum LEED-Certified Gateway Energy Center visible from Queen Kaʻauhumanu Highway, tour participants will drive their own vehicles down to Keahole Point. Participants are encouraged to bring water, wear sunscreen and a hat.
Keahole Center for Sustainability is a non-profit, conservation education organization offering public tours and school/classroom programs with a focus on renewable energy, sustainability, sustainable aquaculture and the uniqueness of the Hawai‘i Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point. It was formerly known as the Friends of NELHA. For info, visit kcshi.org.