The thirty-second Turtle Independence Day took place on July 4, 2021
HPA students Catherine H. (’25), Nikki M. (’25) and a summer school student Zach L. assisted with the annual Fourth of July tradition alongside HPA Sea Turtle Research Program co-directors Laura Jim ’91 and Marc Rice.
On July 3rd the HPA team gathered in the garden of the Mauna Lani Auberge Resort to weigh, measure and do a health assessment for the 4 turtles to be release on July 4th. All four animals were in excellent health and ready to be released into their natural environment.
Established in 1989, the Mālama Honu program at Mauna Lani works to create an awareness of our endangered sea turtles through education and the practice of conservation. In partnership with Sea Life Park, a marine and wildlife center on Oahu, captive-reared hatchlings are sent to Mauna Lani to be cared for in the hotel’s saltwater ponds. In two to three years, they grow to a size deemed appropriate for release into the wild. During the honu’s stay, guests from around the world get to visit and learn about the sea turtles. This relationship aids in the future survival of this endangered species. For more than 30 years, Mālama Honu has celebrated releasing turtles on the Fourth of July, also known as Turtle Independence Day!