Day 3- Seed Planting and Aquaculture Farm

Day 3: Noe Cervantes
Today in the morning we went to a UH facility and worked with Cheyenne Perry to put Koa nd Mamane tree seeds inside dipples so they could be planted up on Mauna Kea. The experience of being able to pack the seeds inside the dipples was very fun. It was very interesting to learn some of the tricks they use for their plants such as putting lemon grass plants near other plants to repel insects and bugs. We also learned some facts about the Ohia tree such as its scientific name and that it would grow about 15 feet in the next 10 years.  We were also told that the koa trees would be about 100 feet tall in the next 500 years, something future generations will get to see. The whole experience of preparing the seeds to plant them was very fulfilling for me. It made me feel very good to know that I was contributing towards the future of our planet by adding life. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life and I hope that I can do similar work in the near future.

Noe holding a "dipple" for planting koa seeds.

Chloe Kunkel
On day three of our program we headed to the University of Hawai'i Hilo to the Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Research Center (PACRC) near Wai'uli beach. This facility held many things, one being an oyster sanctuary/breeding ground. During our visit, we saw a variety of fish native to Hawai'i as well as observing the process to raise oysters. One of the interesting things I learned was that to get the oyster larvae to reproduce they shake them. This causes them distress and they release gametes, which increases reproduction. During the whole tour I noticed myself emerging from my comfort zone more and more. For instance, I touched a dead squid to hand feed one of the native fish currently extinct in the bay. The biggest step I took out of my comfort zone was when I took a leap of faith into the adult oyster tank where they are kept for harvesting. This was a special moment for me because years ago I would have never done something so spontaneous like that. I'm thankful I was able to make these memories with my new friends I made during this program.
Chloe swimming in the oyster tanks.




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