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Turtle Mania takes over Maui Ocean Center
in August and September 2013

Dive into the majestic world of green sea turtles during Turtle Mania at Maui Ocean Center in August and September. Turtle Mania explores one of the world’s most popular sea creatures with exciting presentations, an exclusive tour package upgrade, Hangin’ with Honu, Turtle-rrific Thursday, and complimentary Sea Talk by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The public can also witness the ocean release of six juvenile green sea turtles during Maui Ocean Center’s event, Holomua na Honu, held in partnership with Sea Life Park Hawaii. Offered in addition to the month’s turtle-related activities are Maui Ocean Center’s ongoing programs including daily naturalist presentations, children’s crafts, and interactive encounters with marine animals.

More information on events and activities happening at Maui Ocean Center in August and September is available through the Aquarium’s special events hotline at (808) 270-7000 option 3 or at www.mauioceancenter.com. Like the Aquarium on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates.

Sea Turtle Tour Package Upgrade
Tuesdays- August 6, 13, 20, 27 and September 3, 10, 17, 24

Guests who seek the ultimate aquarium experience can upgrade to the Sea Turtle Tour Package on Tuesdays at 11:30am for $15 plus admission. Offered exclusively during Turtle Mania in August and September, this behind-the-scenes tour includes a choice of lunch, snack or dessert option from the Reef Café.

Due to limited availability, tour fees applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. Fee does not include aquarium admission and reservations are highly recommended; call 808-270-7088.

Fins & Flippers Tour Upgrade
Fridays- August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and September 6, 13, 20, 27

Fascinating facts about sharks and sea turtles are revealed on the interactive Fins & Flippers tour. This exclusive tour is led by a knowledgeable Ocean Naturalist guide and includes a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at the Aquarium and the chance to witness a supervised shark and turtle feed at Hammerhead Harbor and Turtle Lagoon. The tour is appropriate for all ages.

Due to limited availability, fees are applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. Cost is $10.00 per person plus aquarium admission. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (808) 270-7088.

“I Love Marine Life!” Photo Contest
Through August 15, 2013

Maui Ocean Center’s fourth annual “I Love Marine Life!” photo contest continues through August 15. Capture the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life in a photo for the chance to win a year membership to Maui Ocean Center and a photo eco tour with Photo Safari Hawaii. Photo contest is open to everyone. The last day to submit an entry is by 5:00pm on Thursday, August 15, 2013; winners will be announced the week of August 19 and will be displayed at the Aquarium until Labor Day, September 2, 2013. For more information and contest rules visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

Keiki Poetry & Joke Contest
Through October, 2013

Do Hawaii’s bountiful ocean and marine life inspire you? Tell us about it with a joke or poem for the chance to win a year membership to the Hawaiian Aquarium! Maui Ocean Center’s second annual Poetry & Joke Contest, for students in grades K-12, will be held through October 2013. Entries must express the uniqueness of Hawaii’s remarkable ocean and marine animals. Joke entries are open to grades K-5, poetry is open to grades 6-12. Entries are limited to one per student and must be the student’s original work. Winners and finalists will be announced on Maui Ocean Center’s website and displayed at the Aquarium. Prizes include one-day and year Journey Passes to Maui Ocean Center. Visit www.mauioceancenter.com for details on how to enter.

Hangin’ with Honu
Wednesdays, August 7 and September 4

Green sea turtles are called ‘honu’ in Hawaiian. Guests can enjoy the opportunity to hang out with a Hawaiian green sea turtle during casual talks with a special guest speaker at Turtle Lagoon from 11am to 2pm. The story behind the turtles at Maui Ocean Center along with interesting green sea turtle facts will be discussed. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Sea Talk Series
Wednesday, August 28

Maui Ocean Center’s complimentary marine lecture series continues at 6:00 pm with a presentation on by Cheryl King of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Sea Talks are held in the Open Ocean Exhibit at Maui Ocean Center. Entry is through the Aquarium’s front gate from 5:50pm to 6:15pm. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are required by calling
(808) 270-7088. For more information on the Sea Talk, visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

Holomua Na Honu
Thursday, August 29

Maui Ocean Center will release six juvenile green sea turtles, honu, into the ocean the morning of Thursday, August 29, 2013 from the shores of Ka‘anapali Beach fronting Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel. Many of the Aquarium’s employees, who have spent two years feeding, cleaning and caring for the honu, will be joined by staff of the Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of Aquatic Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel to witness the turtles’ introduction into the open ocean. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. with festivities and educational opportunities included presentations by prominent local marine biologists, researchers and community members, informational booths, a turtle encounter, a blessing of the turtles and live music. A highlight of the morning will be the chance to experience an up-close and personal encounter with the honu and Maui Ocean Center’s Curatorial staff. At 10:30 a.m., the honu will each receive a blessing by Kahu Dane Maxwell, Maui Ocean Center’s Hawaiian Cultural Advisor, prior to being released to the ocean. The event is complimentary and open to the public. More information and information on parking will be available at www.mauioceancenter.com.

Children’s Story Time & Craft Hour
Saturdays- August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and September 7, 14, 21, 28

The Aquarium will offer a weekly story time and craft hour for children ages 3 through 12. This activity takes place in the Hawaiians & the Sea Exhibit at 11:30am on Saturday mornings. Children will enjoy an intriguing story told by an Ocean Naturalist followed with a fun, marine-themed craft to make and take home.

Talk Story and Hula Lessons with Kahu Dane Maxwell and ‘Ohana
Mondays-August 5, 12, 19, 26 and September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Visitors to Maui Ocean Center will have an extraordinary opportunity to hear from Maui Ocean Center’s Hawaiian Cultural Advisor Kahu Dane Maxwell and take in a hula lesson. Every Monday at 11:45am, following the Aquarium’s 11:00am dive presentation, Kahu Dane Maxwell and ‘Ohana (family) will conduct a talk story session and hula lesson at the Hawaiians and the Sea exhibit. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Wet Naturalist Presentations
Tuesdays-Saturdays in August, 1-3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31

In August, Wet Naturalist presentations offer guests a hands-on experience with Hawaii’s marine invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals without backbones and include creatures such as urchins, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. With the help of a wet naturalist inside the exhibit, guests will have the chance to touch and feel a few of these spineless creatures! These exciting presentations take place every week at the Aquarium’s Discovery Pool starting at 12:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Monk Seal Foundation Booth
Sundays- August 11, 25 and September 29

Guests can learn about the endemic Hawaiian monk seal, one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, at the educational info booth provided by the Monk Seal Foundation (MSF). MSF volunteers will share information about monk seals, the challenges they face, and how to help this endangered species. This activity is offered from 10am to 2pm in the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Discovery Center. A fun children’s craft will also be provided. For more info on the Monk Seal Foundation, visit www.monksealfoundation.org. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Turtle-rrific Thursday
Thursdays, August 15 and September 19

Guests can learn about Hawaii’s beloved green sea turtles in an up close and personal setting during Turtle-rrific Thursday at 2pm. This interactive program is hosted by Maui Ocean Center’s curatorial team at Turtle Lagoon. Guests will learn about the biology, behavior and diet of green sea turtles from the team that cares for the animals on a daily basis. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life. This state-of-the-art aquarium was named “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawaii” by Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide, “Leader In Responsible Tourism” on the Top 100 Blue List by Islands Magazine, and “Best Environmental Attraction” by the readers of The Maui News. Open daily from 9 to 5, and from 9 to 6 in July and August. For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma‘alaea Road; Ma‘alaea, HI 96793; telephone (808)270-7000, facsimile (808)270-7070, e-mail info@mauioceancenter.com or visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

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