Thursday, December 9, 2010

Field Trip adventure to Kanaha Beach Park on Maui; Seaweed collection, Sea cucumbers and rubbish

Today for my ocean marine identification class, we were supposed to go to a specific beach in Maalaea to go snorkeling for seaweed. But since conditions were not prime anymore for snorkeling, she cancelled class and told us to pick a beach and collect some seaweed and identify them by scientific name.

Me and my friend, Keneke, chose Kanaha beach park in central Maui for our seaweeds.
We found a lot of different kinds of seaweed: Caulerpa racemosa; a kind of green marine algae that looks like it grape vines. Ulva fasciata; also known as sea lettuce. Amansia glomerata; when this algae clumps together it reminds me of a hamburger!

(Oh! One thing about seaweed that some people don't know is that it is also called marine algae. It technically is NOT a plant, it is an algae).

Anyways, we found a lot of different kinds of algae. We got to that beach around 3:00 p.m. and what i thought was funny was that there were a LOT of sea cucumbers washed up on the shoreline mixed in with the seaweed that was washed up too. I think in total I found 15 of them. All of them the same species and around 3 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. They were all washed up!

It wasn't too bright with sunlight but they must have been washed up for a while because some of them were seriously dried up...
For a little bit I was surprised there were so many sea cucumbers, but when I thought of the location of the beach it kind of clicked in my head.

There must be so many sea cucumbers because about 1/2 a mile before Kanaha beach was a wastewater treatment plant. I know that sea cucumbers are detritovores and they eat all of the dead and waste things on the bottom of the sea floor. So maybe since the tide is low in the morning then became high later in the afternoon, they got stuck on the beach!

Something else that I saw that really bothered me was the trash... I collected some and I was able to take a picture with my laptop camera.

There was a snorkel, some suji line and lead weight, a hair clip, a yellow cap used for electrical line, an old battery pack cover, a vienna sausage can, a bit of a water bottle label and this other unknown white clip.
And this only came from 1/8 of the beach we were on.
Makes you think, doesn't it??

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