Kids Konserve helping kids in Hawaii, saving the environment

Aloha! Thank you for checking us out! In case you didn’t already know, Ocean Girl Project (OGP) is a totally unique sustainable, kids, educational,  and surf organization here in Hawaii.

Why is this? Primarily because our mission is to offer financial assistance to all families of girls who are in need. How? This is accomplished  year round by hard-working community volunteers, business supporters, fund-raising and donations.

Another outstanding reason? Ocean Girl Project sustainable surf camps are  single use plastic free, we do this by implementing three goals:

1. Exclude the use of single-use plastics
2. Promote the human and environmental health benefits of going plastic free
3. Provide  alternatives to single-use plastics  including re-usable bags and bottles, re-usable lunch and snack ware.

Now, we’d like to offer a way for you to save  money, help support a worthy  cause and save the environment. Every time you purchase from Kids Konserve pick  Ocean Girl Project which you will find set up under a drop down menu on the checkout page under “Select School or Representative*:  Fundraiser Schools”,  scroll down, add Ocean Girl Project  and 20% from your sale will be given back to help support sustainable education and camps for needy kids.

Ocean Girl Project is a big fan of Kids Konserve waste-free products. They have many terrific products that are meant to be reused – no more waste-no more single use plastic!

Here are just a few of their items:

Why You Will Love Kids Konserve

Their products aren’t just reusable, they are safe and non-toxic! Their complete line of reusable waste-free lunch packing products are made from the safest, non-leaching, non-toxic, BPA, PVC, phthalate, and lead-free materials.

Party Pak

Next up on our list of favorites is the Party Pak. Reusable party paks are perfect for school classrooms, family picnics, surf camps & birthday parties. Each kit contains 12 each: 7″ plates, 16 oz. tumblers, and forks, knives & spoons. Materials: 100% recycled plastic yogurt containers. All in 2 cotton drawstring bags.BPA, Lead & Phthalate Free!

And if you weren’t sure who would be thrilled to receive this, we suggest donating to your favorite sustainable surf camp for girls…hint, hint, hint.

A perfect reusable, insulated lunch sack, made from 8 RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES! Outside: 100% RECYCLED Plastic Bottles/Petspun.  Inside: eco-friendly, BPA and Lead-free Insulation. Lunch Sack is 12″ x 7.5″ x 5″.

Ocean Girl Fundraiser

Kids Konserve has generously set up a drop down menu on the checkout page under “Select School or Representative:  Fundraiser Schools ..and added Ocean Girl Project.  Each time someone orders and selects Ocean Girl Project 20% from that sales will be given back to help  girls in Hawaii attend sustainable surf camps and fund our sustainable ocean outreach to girls and families all over Oahu. Remember, you have to choose Ocean Girl Project from the drop down menu for sales to benefit Ocean Girls. (this is right above/before your shipping options)

You’ve heard us talk and read about how sadly wasteful one-time use plastic water bottles and wasteful packaging of food and other items are.  Most of you have heard about what plastic is doing to our oceans and in Hawaii especially how devastating this is to our people and economy.

In order to avoid these wasteful items and further harm to the oceans from plastic, we invite and urge parents, families and individuals to invest in a few reusable items, like a water bottle, food containers, cloth napkins, plates, lunch bags, etc.

Waste Free solutions from Kids Konserve make great gift items  and they even offer gift certificates,  with the holiday season less than 3 months away,  save fuel and save stress, avoid limited stock-order early!

Mahalo Kids Konserve, we are so grateful to your wonderful company for supporting sustainability and Ocean Girl Project!

Surfing Parents Meet up!

Ocean girls, volunteers and parents, this is great group and they have lots of fun, thought we’d share!

Are you a parent on Oahu that wants to surf but has a little one that can’t be left alone? This group is meant to unite like-minded surfing moms AND dads to support each others’ love for the ocean while also caring for our children. Let’s help each other reconnect with the ocean, get some exercise, meet other parents, have our kids play together and enjoy island life!

Latest meet up-Group surf & potluck Oct 9th 2010

Learn more about this Meetup Group

We are stoked to  invite them to all of our sustainable kid and parent events!

Wild Dolphins in Hawaii and Captivity Part 1

Spinner dolphins.

Image via Wikipedia

Big Mahalo to The Wild Dolphin Foundation for their work in protecting Wild Dolphins and for granting us permission to post  terrific information from their site,  please click link above for more.

Part 1  Spinner Dolphins in Hawaii also includes some disturbing facts you may have not have known about Dolphins in captivity.

Ocean Girl Project and Becausewesurf supports all efforts towards a sustainable world and especially marine life.

Spiritual Connection Hawaii and Dolphins

Hawaiian ancestors lived deeply interconnected to each other, the land, and the sea. Dolphins (Nai`a) were considered by some to be one form of the spiritual manifestation of the god, Kanaloa. Humans are terrestrial animals, and our capacity to see and understand the importance and vulnerability of life in the sea has trailed our growing ability to harm it. Our very existence depends upon healthy oceans; dolphins and other cetaceans represent a critical piece to this huge ecosystem and in a world where so much that is wild and free has already been lost to us, we must leave these beautiful mammals free to swim as they will and must.

Spinner Dolphins In Hawaii

During the night, a deep sea community of marine life that spends daylight hours at depths of up to 3,000 feet, now begins to migrate upward and towards the shore. As these riches come within reach, spinner dolphins begin to hunt. Small subgroups spread out across the sea. Using echolocation, the spinners scan the darkness. and using their whistles, they call members of the school back together to unite in defense. The collective defenses of the dolphin school protect each member from harm. By dawn, the spinners regroup. Well-fed, they move once again towards the shelter of the islands.

The spinners have chosen this bay because of its sandy bottom — against which they can visually detect the approach of a predator. Sharks are a major concern — and a serious threat to dolphins of all kinds.

Mornings are a time of celebration as the members of the school meet, and play together. Youngsters practice their lessons. Much affectionate touching and rubbing occurs at this time…some dolphins engage in games of patty-cakes…one swimming underneath another while scissoring their pectoral fins back and forth. Others “hold hands…” Some caress each other with their tail flukes…Over the next two hours — as the dolphins enter a resting state — the school tightens up, synchronizes its breathing, and begins to prepare for sleep. The subgroups of the school move closer together. Coalitions of adult and sub-adult males move alongside groups of females and small calves. Little by little, the warm, clear waters entice them to rest, the dolphins draw closer. Together they rise and fall from the surface until each spinner slips into sleep, safe inside a cocoon of friends.

This period of rest does not resemble sleep as we know it. The dolphins are not actually unconscious as only parts of their brains are asleep at any one time. The spinners have turned their sonar off, without sound, they rely heavily on sight. And this is why clear water and white-sand bays are so important to them.

During the period of rest, the dolphins must be grouped very tightly together, combining their eyes into a “super-organ” upon which all of the animals rely.

As the spinners awaken from their rest, some members begin to spin, urging the school to move out of the bay. But other members are reluctant to leave just yet, and slowly nudge the school back into the bay, back into resting behavior. For the next hour or more, the spinners perform this zig-zag pattern. Going airborne, moving out, then quieting down and drifting back toward shore. Finally they head offshore for another night of hunting.

So called for their high, spinning leaps, spinner dolphins are known as playful, eager bow-riders. But in the eastern tropical Pacific, where tuna fishermen have killed millions of spinners since 1959, the dolphins no longer approach ships. In Hawaii, spinners (Nai`a) not only approach ships, but could be termed oceanic “Ambassadors of Aloha.” There is some belief that Native Hawaiians deemed dolphins to be a oceanic tribe with equal rights as human villagers. They work cooperatively with them to fish to this day.

In the near-coastal waters of Oahu, spinner dolphins are seen on a daily basis. Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins (Nai`a) are shaped and colored somewhat differently from other spinner dolphins.

Stenella longirostris
Hawaiian Name: Nai’a
Size: 1.7 to 2.2 meters, 75 kilograms; males slightly larger than females
Teeth: 45 to 65 sharp-pointed teeth
Food: Fish — small deep-ocean species like lantern fish, shrimp and squid
Habitat: Mainly offshore, nearshore in certain island chains
Range: Tropical, subtropical and warm temperate world ocean
Status: Population unknown, but common in most parts of its range; substantial declines have occurred in the eastern tropical Pacific.

Parts above condensed from the film narration “Ocean Acrobats: The World of the Spinner Dolphin.” please visit for more.

The Wild Dolphin Foundation is a Hawaii-based grassroots NPO, whose mission is protecting and restoring the natural habitats of dolphins through research, advocacy, public education and conservation and to create culturally-sustainable change in human behaviors which continue to threaten the well-being of dolphins and their host communities worldwide.

Dolphins have evolved over millions of years, adapting perfectly to life in the ocean. They are intelligent, social and self-aware, exhibiting evidence of a highly developed emotional sense. Caging them for profit just is not acceptable.

Here are just a few of the issues with captivity:

  • Captures of dolphins are traumatic and stressful and can result in injury and death of dolphins. The number of dolphins that die during capture operations or shortly thereafter are never revealed in dolphinariums or swim-with-dolphins programs. Some facilities even claim their dolphins were “rescued” from the ocean and cannot be released. This claim is almost invariably false.
  • Training of dolphins is often deliberately misrepresented by the captive dolphin industry to make it look as if dolphins perform because they like it. This isn’t the case. They are performing because they have been deprived of food.
  • Most captive dolphins are confined in minuscule tanks containing chemically treated artificial seawater. Dolphins in a tank are severely restricted in using their highly developed sonar, which is one of the most damaging aspects of captivity. It is much like forcing a person to live in a hall of mirrors for the rest of their life – their image always bouncing back with no clear direction in sight.

Thank you to for your work and education!

Things you can do:
  • Help get the word out  pressure your local city government and  leaders to take action.
  • Send letters to both President Obama, Vice President Bide.
  • Make and recruit others to take the pledge: don’t go to dolphin shows.
  • See The Cove and encourage others  to see what happens to Dolphins in Japan.
Part 2 What exactly is  Dolphin Safe Tuna…
Find out about tuna on your own store’s shelves and what you can do to help dolphins!
and the Cost of fishing for Tuna
According to an estimate by the Environmental Justice Foundation, each dolphin spared by switching from “non-dolphin-safe” fishing techniques to the most widely employed alternative costs the lives of 25,824 small tuna (these are discarded, not kept and utilized), 27 sharks and rays, 382 mahi mahi (also known as “dolphin fish”), 188 wahoo, 82 yellowtail and other large fish, 1 billfish such as a marlin or sailfish and 1,193 triggerfish and other small fish.
Comments always appreciated!

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Sustainable Sushi Choices and Practices

Fresh, cool fish, subtly seasoned rice and the tingle of wasabi—sushi the essence of the ocean in one bite.  Nothing we eat reminds us more of surfing!

The sushi that we eat today has its origins in fish preservation techniques that are hundreds of years old. Then, fish filled our oceans. Today, there are serious concerns about the number of fish left in the sea and it’s time to create new traditions.

If you have a healthy appetite for fish and sushi,  this appetite can come at a cost. Overfishing has put the future of many species at risk. Some fishing techniques, like dredging, damages the ocean floor habitat. Farming fish can cause massive pollution. Some retailers and restaurants are moving toward more sustainable sourcing practices, but you as the consumer can encourage them by ordering responsibly.

It’s hard enough trying to remember which fish species are on the brink of collapse, and visiting a sushi restaurant can get confusing.

Many fish species are OK if caught on the Atlantic coast, but not if from Asia. Some are OK if wild-caught, but not if farmed. Some are great from South America, but – well, you get the point. Even more frustrating, often servers can’t (or won’t) answer your questions about the source of the fish.

With the help of the  Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide (also available as a smart phone app or in a wallet-sized card) we offer some of the more popular sushi’s best sustainable choices.

Sablefish or Gindara aka butterfish (yummy!) or black cod) from Alaska and British Columbia. There the populations are managed well, and fishing techniques avoid a lot of bycatch.

West Coast fisheries are less sustainable, with more bycatch and damaging bottom trawl, but are still ok to eat.

Iwana aka Arctic Char. Most arctic char sold in the United States is farmed in closed systems, with little risk of pollution.

Iwashi aka Sardines. After a scare in the 1940’s when the population dipped to almost non-existent, sardines have charged to a comeback and are now plentiful. Enjoying them over rice as sashimi sounds a lot tastier than packed in a can.

Kaki aka Oysters are well suited to aquaculture, so they can be grown with little risk of pollution. Go for the farmed if you can, but if you find yourself tempted by the wild caught Blue Points, don’t beat yourself up too much. They’re still a “good alternative,” according to Seafood Watch.

After the oil spill, there’s been increasing concern about eating gulf coast oysters: Eco Etiquette columnist Jennifer Grayson weighs in on the debate.

Masago aka Capelin or Smelt Roe.  If you’re looking for some bright toppings for your sushi rolls, turn to the capelin roe. Icelandic fisheries are hailed for their forward-thinking population management and habitat-safe catching techniques.

Canada doesn’t get the gold star due to its use of trap nets and unclear management, but it is still a “good alternative.” Iceland wins for best practices.

Giant Clam aka Margai,  minimal impacts on habitat, highly effective management, and minimal bycatch, you’ll want to taste this popular sushi item. Go for ones from Washington and British Columbia, which merit “Best Choice.” The rest make only a passing grade.

Muurugai aka Mussels. Give yourself a pat on the back, America, you import mussels from developed nations with stringent environmental regulations. Mussel farming in the US is also environmentally friendly.

Sawara aka Spanish Mackerel There are a couple varieties of this fish, but both are a great choice. It matures quickly and breeds well, so it springs back quickly from fishing pressure. U.S. Spanish mackerel fishers are well managed.

There is a catch: the Environmental Defense Fund has issued a consumption advisory for it, due to elevated levels of mercury. You’ll want to avoid it if you are pregnant or nursing.

Suzuki, A.K.A Striped Bass. Nope, we’re not telling you to order a motorbike. Farmed not wild-caught Suzuki, the name for striped bass, is the healthy  choice.

See note below for  important updates from a viewer, mahalo Dean!

Even though wild-caught bass has rebounded to record levels after a scare in the 1980’s, there is a health advisory issued for it due to mercury, so take care if you are pregnant or nursing. That, and a minimal threat of pollution, make farmed your best choice.

Re: Suzuki, a.k.a. striped bass…….
Wild caught bass are subject to being infected by Mycobacteriosis, a wasting and potentially fatal disease that can be transferred to humans through raw or undercooked flesh from an infected fish.  According to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), 80% or more of the striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay are infected with “myco” and this is where the vast majority of wild striped bass are reared and emanate from. It is impossible to visually determine the presence of the disease unless spleen tissue samples are examined under a microscope. Therefore it is suggested that only farm raised Suzuki or striped bass be consumed…….especially when considering all the health warnings that have been issued by all but one east coast state advising that children and women that are pregnant or might become pregnant-NEVER eat wild striped bass!

Seafood Watch Pocket Guide


What You Can Do

Learn more about sustainable seafood and get tips for your next visit to the sushi bar.

Learn more

Channel Catfish: A Best Choice

Tuna in Trouble

©Gavin Newman/Greenpeace

Bluefin tuna is one of the most popular fish on the menu at most sushi bars, but are we loving bluefin to death?

Learn more

Thanks to  Monterey Bay Aquarium and Alden Wicker from the Huffington Post for most of this article!

Explore more of the Top Sustainable Choices:

Iron Chef America Says No More to Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna gets banned from the television menu

(Photo © Save Our Seas/Tom Campbell/

Issues & What You Can Do

Fishing practices worldwide are damaging our oceans—depleting fish populations, destroying habitats and polluting the water. Informed consumers can help turn the tide.

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Hawaii, taking care of our ocean environment

The ocean is  Hawaii’s most important natural resource. Did you know that more than a quarter of the sea life here is found nowhere else on the planet? For all of us, it’s important to practice the ancient Hawaiian tradition: Malama kai, meaning to take care of our fragile ocean environment.

Remember when enjoying the sea, here or anywhere on the planet: Surf, Swim and See, but don’t touch.  The coral reef is a complex living community supporting countless species, please don’t touch the coral, or touch the animals or plants surrounding it.

Green sea turtles are an endangered species. Just because they swim near you doesn’t mean you should touch them. With all sea creatures, keep a respectful distance—for their safety and yours.

Why is Hawaii’s Ocean Important?
Click here for a free printable  Keiki Ocean Care Activity Handbook

Here are some basic guidelines:

Learn before you go. Read about the wildlife, viewing sites and local regulations to get the most from your wildlife viewing experience. Many species live only in specific habitats such as estuaries, coral reefs,  or the open ocean. Seasonal and daily cycles also influence when and where an animal may be located. Research on the internet, buy guidebooks, talk with locals  and or hire local guides to increase your chances of seeing marine wildlife.

Keep your distance. Use binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras with zoom lenses to get a closer look. Marine wildlife are very sensitive to human disturbance, and if cornered, they can harm the viewer or leave the area. If wildlife approaches you, stay calm and slowly back away or stay quiet and still. When closer encounters occur, do not make sudden moves or obstruct the travel path of the animals – let them have the unhindered “right of way.”

Hands off. Never touch, handle or ride marine wildlife. Touching wildlife, or attempting to do so, can injure the animal, put you at risk and may also be illegal for certain species. The slimy coating on fish and many marine invertebrates protects the animal from infection and is easily rubbed off with a hand, glove or foot. Avoid using gloves when diving or snorkeling to minimize the temptation to touch. Remember, wild animals may bite, body slam or even pull you underwater if startled or threatened.

Do not feed or attract marine wildlife. Feeding or attempting to attract wildlife with food, decoys, sound or light disrupts normal feeding cycles, may cause sickness or death from unnatural or contaminated food items, and habituates animals to people. Habituated animals are vulnerable to vessel strikes or vandalism, and can be dangerous to people.

Never chase or harass wildlife. Following a wild animal that is trying to escape is dangerous. Never completely surround the animal, trap an animal between a vessel and shore, block its escape route, or come between mother and young. When viewing from a boat, operate at slow speed, move parallel to the swimming animals, and avoid approaching head-on or from behind, and separating individuals from a group. If you are operating a non-motorized vessel, emit periodic noise to make wildlife aware of your presence and avoid surprise.

Stay away from wildlife that appears abandoned or sick.. Some marine animals such as seals, leave the water or are exposed at low tide as part of their natural life cycle — there may be nothing wrong with them. Young animals that appear to be orphaned may actually be under the watchful eye of a nearby parent. An animal that is sick or injured is already vulnerable and may be more likely to bite. If you think an animal is in trouble, contact the local authorities for advice.

Wildlife and pets don’t mix. Wild animals can injure and spread diseases to pets, and in turn, pets can harm and disturb wildlife. For example, wild animals recognize dogs as predators and quickly flee when they see or smell dogs. If you have a pet, always keep them on a leash and away from areas frequented by marine wildlife.

Lend a hand with trash removal. Human garbage is one of the greatest threats to marine wildlife. Carry a trash bag with you and pick up litter found along the shore and in the water. Plastic bags, floating debris and monofilament line pose the greatest risk to wildlife.

Help others to become responsible wildlife watchers and tour operators. Speak up if you notice other viewers or tour operators behaving in a way that disturbs the wildlife or other viewers, or impacts sensitive habitats. Be friendly, respectful and discrete when approaching others. Violations of the law should be reported to local authorities.

NOAA’s Office of Protected Resources works to conserve, protect, and recover species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in conjunction with our Regional Offices, Science Centers, and various partners.


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