satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Marine Debris Pickup on Midway's Turtle Beach

Petra (holding her data table) has been surveying Midway's Hawaiian Monk Seals and monitoring the births of their babies, called "pups."  Pups is a good name, especially since the seal's Hawaiian name is `Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, which means "dog that runs in rough water."  (scientific name -- Monachus schauinslandi)   

Because the pups sometimes like to play with objects washed up on beaches where the seals come to nurse with their mothers, Petra organized a specialized beach cleanup.  Our goal was to pick up anything that might entangle a playful Monk Seal, as well as other marine animals for that matter.  We worked on Turtle Beach, a favorite haul-out site for the seals.  (Check the "Midway Map" tab at the top of the page; Turtle Beach is along the north shore of Sand Island, to the east of the Old Seaplane Ramp.)  There certainly was a lot of marine debris! You can see Ray and Adam collecting bunches of it.  We piled it high in the vehicle, and Petra drove it away... the marine debris center, where Adam helped her sort it.    Here's a close-up of one of the bins.

It was a lot of work, but we were happy to help, since we all love the Monk Seals, and want to do our best to help them survive!  The nets in the bin will most likely be transported to Honolulu, where they will be cut into smaller pieces.  Then they will be taken to Hawaiian Electric Company's H-Power plant, where they will be burned for energy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is Turtle Beach?