Event: Coral Spawning Spectacle
Description: Join us at the Coral Spawning Spectacle for the chance to witness live rice coral spawning. Discover the wonders of coral reproduction with tours on topics including “Coral 101” and “How to Protect Coral” beginning every 15 minutes from 7:45-9:00pm. Join a tour at any time, or enjoy the park at leisure and mingle with Maui Ocean Center’s aquarists and naturalists. Complimentary light pupu, coffee and desserts will be offered, along with a cash bar. Reservations are required by calling (808) 270-7088. Kama‘aina and member discounts available, please inquire.
Place: Maui Ocean Center
Date: Friday, July 20, 2012
Cost: $35 for adults, $30 for children 3-12 with discounts for kama‘aina and members with valid ID
Reservations: Required, call (808) 270-7088.
Explore the mysterious world of coral reproduction at Maui Ocean Center’s Coral Spawning Spectacle on Friday, July 20, 2012 from 7:30pm-9:30pm. This highly anticipated summer aquarium event takes place under the light of a new moon and offers guests the rare and remarkable opportunity to observe live coral spawning.
While waiting for the coral to spawn, the Aquarium will offer interactive tours, exciting children’s activities and the chance to mingle with Maui Ocean Center’s talented divers and aquarists. The interactive tours will be led by the Aquarium’s knowledgeable Ocean Naturalists and include topics such as “Coral 101”, “Coral Struggles and Survival”, “Coral Biology” and “How to Protect Coral”. These tours begin every 15 minutes from 7:45pm to 9pm. Guests may join a tour at any time or explore the Aquarium at their leisure. All exhibits will be open for viewing during the Coral Spawning Spectacle. Complimentary light pupu, coffee and desserts will be available throughout The Living Reef and Retail Plaza, along with a cash bar.
A special underwater robotic camera from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be in the Discovery Pool during the event, sending back live imaging of coral spawning. Footage from previous Coral Spawning events will also be shown throughout the evening.
Admission is $35.00 for adults and $30.00 for children ages 3-12, with discounts for members and kama‘aina. Advance reservations are required as space is limited for this exclusive event. To reserve, the public may call (808) 270-7088. Reservations open to aquarium members on July 2 and to the general public on July 3. Guests will have the option to prepay to avoid waiting in the entrance line the night of the event.
Maui Ocean Center will donate a portion of the proceeds from the Coral Spawning Spectacle to Project S.E.A.-Link, a local non-profit organization which promotes Marine Science, Education, and Awareness by providing a link between students, teachers, scientists, the local community, the general public, other non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies.
Corals spawn in response to multiple environmental, biological and physical cues; while live coral spawning is expected to occur on July 20, 2012 it is not guaranteed.
Rice Coral Biology
Rice coral was named for the projections on the surface that look like grains of rice standing on end. Rice coral’s sexual reproduction is linked to the lunar cycle, and spawning generally occurs a few days after the new moon in the summer months. During the spawning, all of the polyps (the tiny, cylindrical animals) simultaneously release bundles containing both egg and sperm, which are visible to the naked eye. The bundles float to the surface, and after 20 to 60 minutes, they break apart and clouds of sperm are released. After fertilization, eggs become free-swimming larvae called planulae. Though most planulae do not survive this phase, some will settle on a hard surface and establish a whole new colony.
Project S.E.A.-Link is a nonprofit organization based on Maui, Hawaii. It was founded in 1999 and received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in 2000. Their mission is to promote Marine Science, Education, and Awareness by providing a link between students, teachers, scientists, the local community, the general public, other nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies with their goals being to encourage and inspire the next generation of marine scientists, educators and stewards of the ocean environment; to support the inquiry-based reform in science education; and to promote conservation and stewardship in order to preserve and protect marine resources.
The mission of the Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life. Maui Ocean Center was named “Top-Rated Family Attraction” by ZAGAT Survey in US Family Travel Guide, a “Leader in Responsible Tourism” on the Top 100 Blue List by Islands Magazine, and “Best Environmental Attraction” in The Best of Maui 2010 by the readers of The Maui News. This state-of-the-art marine park is centrally located in oceanfront Ma`alaea, within minutes of Maui’s major resort areas, and is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and 9am to 6pm 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, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit website www.mauioceancenter.com.