"From the Director" available in the Jan/Feb/Mar 2012 issue of the Kilo i'a.
New Year already! In John Lennon's words, "... and what have we done? Another year over, and a new one just begun." Well, here at the Waikīkī Aquarium, quite a lot!
Our signature events - Seahunt, Family Night, Ke Kani O Ke Kai, Ocean Literacy Day, World Oceans Day, and others - all continued to deliver enjoyment, entertainment and education to all who participated. Additionally, in February we hosted the Aloha Koi Show for the first time, which was so successful that the Koi Society will hold the annual show here again this coming February. During the year, our native Hawaiian plantings have continued throughout the grounds, and the earlier plantings have become established. New lighting in the foyer and, in the near future, a new reception desk, will improve immeasurably the look and feel of the reception area. The major new Northwestern Hawaiian Islands exhibit opened in September, and, as the coral grows, as algae colonizes the rock surfaces, and as new fishes are added gradually, is looking better day by day.
In August we bade a sad farewell to Nuka, one of our Hawaiian monk seals and a member of the Aquarium family since 1983. And as alluded to in my Summer 2011 message, we have a new addition to the Aquarium family. The juvenile male monk seal Hōailona, also known as KP2, joined us in November. Details of his story can be found in the accompanying article in the Jan/Feb/Mar 2012 issue.
Elsewhere, in preparation for another major new exhibit, behind the scenes construction is underway for two research and holding facilities for seahorses, seadragons and pipefishes. Why two? Well, one is for tropical species and the other for temperate species. Incidentally, if you are interested in helping support this exhibit (the cheapest leafy seadragons are around $5K each, but more modest contributions are also welcome!), please contact MaryLou Foley, the Aquarium's Community Outreach Director, at 440-9027, for details.
Finally, throughout the year, one thing has remained constant: the commitment of all at the Waikīkī Aquarium to provide the best conditions possible for the living creatures under our care, and the best experience possible for you, our FOWA members.
A Happy New Year from us all!
Dr. Andrew Rossiter