Inspiration Collaboration Story:
OAT-Community Training for Ocean Conservation
Each year the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with other ocean science and management organizations on the islands of Oahu and Maui host several sessions of Ocean Awareness Training (OAT).
This is a five week long program designed to educate marine resource users about various marine conservation and cultural issues. Scientists and community organization leaders give expert lectures on topics such as ocean fauna, coastal development, cultural perspectives, and marine debris.
This past year, OAT was co-hosted by the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB). The course included a trip to Moku o Loe (Coconut Island) in Kaneohe Bay, where HIMB is located, to learn about the research and to tour the island. Additionally, each participant completed three hours of volunteer field work in order to receive their OAT certification.
Marine related organizations such as COSEE (Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence), Friends of Hanauma Bay, and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, received the opportunity to reach out to and educate members of the community. Participants in OAT receive career development training and a certification card, as well as a plethora of knowledge concerning a wide breadth of marine issues.