hawaiian green turtle

Take off into your week like these baby green sea turtles in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument! 

Located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, this monument provides safe haven for little sea turtles just starting out their lives. More than 90 percent of all Hawaiian green sea turtles come from nests on East Island, an 11-acre island within Papahānaumokuākea. 

(Photo: Koa Matsuoka)

Here’s a seriously cute photo for your Wednesday: A monk seal watches a baby turtle crawl on the beach at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Papahānaumokuākea encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean – including the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (usfwspacific). Many of the islands and shallow water environments are important habitats for rare species such as the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

Photo by Mark Sully.

100,000 pounds – that’s how much garbage has been removed from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument over the past six years! 

Every year, NOAA staff, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Hawai'i and other partners, travel to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to remove tons of marine debris that accumulates there. Though the islands are remote and uninhabited, ocean currents and weather bring debris like fishing gear and plastic trash to their shores. There, it poses a threat to animals like Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and seabirds, which can become entangled or consume pieces of plastic. 

The 100,000-pound mountain of debris that has been collected over the past six years was recently shipped from Midway Atoll to Honolulu, where it will be processed through the Nets to Energy Program to produce electricity! Many thanks to all of our partners who have contributed to making Papahānaumokuākea a safer, healthier place for its inhabitants. 

(Photo: NOAA)

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One place every man needs to visit before he turns 40 or gets married is the state of Hawaii. Only about a 5-hour plane ride from Southern California, Hawaii offers a great place to vacation with much to offer.

Recently, I traveled to Kona, Hawaii. Kona is located on the Big Island, the largest of the 8 main islands. During my stay at Kona I stayed as a guest at Kukio. Neighboring the highly rated Four Seasons hotel (by Conde Nast Traveler), Kukio is located on a beautiful private beach, carved into the lava of the Kona coast. On Kukio Beach, there were people snorkeling, enjoying the waves, surfing and body boarding and even sharing the sand with Hawaiian Green sea turtles. The turtles were resting in the sun and digesting their food before slowly returning to the ocean. I collected some beach glass, but the shells were mostly broken. The powerful surf and volcanic rock shoreline doesn’t allow for many shells to reach the beach intact.​

This community offers their residents a great world-class spa with a fitness room, lap pool, a steam room, a sauna room, a hot tub and a cold plunge. Since I’m not much of a sunbather, this is where I spent most of my time. I kept hydrated during the day by drinking Itoen, a Japanese green tea and Stevia with lemons and water, which is pretty much a recipe for organic lemonade. Both these drinks are healthy and nutritious. Now back home in New York, I plan on keeping both these drinks consistent in my diet and was happy to source Itoen at a local chain grocery store.

After exercising in the gym or running on the beach, I quickly learned about the health benefits of wet heat. Using a steam shower improves circulation, aids in skincare, helps reduce tension and combats the fatigue of exercising. I immediately felt more relaxed and noticed the difference in my skin after my 15-minute daily sessions.

One of many great outdoor activities Hawaii has to offer is the Kohala Zip line located just a half hour drive from Kona. As this was my first experience on a zip line, I was a little apprehensive. But after being outfitted with a harness and safety helmet I could sit back and enjoy the ride. For my first run, I was paired with an instructor that taught me how to properly zip so I didn’t get stuck or hurt and then went on another 7 solo runs. From the zip line course, I could see Maui in the distance and it was thrilling zipping through a tropical forest while being surrounded by great views. I would love to try this great outdoor activity again sometime soon and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it before.

Hawaii is part of the Hawaiian Archipelago, a series of hundreds of volcanic islands spread out over 1500 miles that offers many unique adventures. My suggestion: Add the “Aloha” state to your bucket list and have a tropical experience like none other.

Sunset Twilight by karimiliya 8 Minutes from my home on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii, is beach with an abundance of Hawaiian green sea turtles that are very comfortable with people and surfers. My favorite time to photograph turtles is in the late afternoon just before sunset. There is a “golden hour” underwater that is even more unique than on land, and lasts only a few minutes. It is essentially sunset and twilight at the same time. Just as the sun is about to set, it becomes twilight underwater, yet there is a patch of golden light the glows at the top. The window of time often lasts no more than 3 minutes. One afternoon during this lighting. I came across a young Hawaiian green sea turtle. I stayed back, hoping it would come up to the surface so that I could capture an image with the sun still present. Sure enough, it popped up to the surface and I captured an image as it’s releasing a breath of air. If you look closely, you an see the bubble of air coming from it’s mouth. The turtle descended and the sun set.