Saturday, January 29, 2011


Thanks for stopping by,
as we say 'ALOHA'
 to a hardy band

"A truly rich man
 is one whose children run into his arms
 when his hands are empty." 


"She sits composedly sentinel, 

with paws tucked under her-"

 Henry David Thoreau


Gung Hee Fat Choy!

Good Luck in the 
Year of the Golden Rabbit!


Today they get into the canoes.
Over a thousand of them will be taken offshore.

They have been carefully hand-raised
 in a hatchery at Sand Island's Anuenue fisheries research station here on Oahu.

Now they have a job to do:
to restore the natural reef in Kaneohe Bay.

"aggressive seaweed"
 is a growing problem for the fragile reef ecosystem
 in the bay.

(Incidentally, that is the Kaneohe High School Mascot:
"The Aggressive Seaweeds."
Nah! Just kidding!)

“This is the first time we have been able to raise urchins
 in captivity; very few places in the world ever do this,”
 said Christy Martin with the Coordinating Group
 on Alien Species.



State aquatics resource scientist David Cohen

 and his colleagues collected adult specimens from the wild 

and used their sperm and eggs

 to propagate the microscopic creatures

with a lot of trial and error

 transferring the urchins from tank to tank as they grew.

Cohen calls them his babies,

 and they eat a lot.

“We give them as much variety as we can.

We use native seaweeds and we fatten them up

until they can get out on the reefs and do their jobs,”

 He says.

We needn't  worry about the area being overrun with urchins, though,

“We can actually herd these guys like cows and goats.

We keep them where we want them 
and if they migrate to 
another area,

 we pick them up and move them elsewhere,”
 Cohen said.

The urchin release later today will happen
 in water 2-6 feet deep.

 His "babies' are not very poky, Cohen says.

 "If you happen to step on them,
 you are more likely to hurt the urchin than to get hurt yourself."

Go With God, Little Eco-Warriors!

What's going on in YOUR place today?
 Tell us in Comments :) cloudia