Aloha HBEP Educational Lecture Series Patrons,

Here is some information about this week’s Sundays at the Bay, an outreach educational series presented by the Hanauma Bay Education Program, University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program.

SUNDAY February 22nd 2015

Name: T. Todd Jones, PhD, NOAA Fisheries, Marine Turtle Research Program

Talk title: Migrating leatherback turtles enjoy winter ‘layovers’ in Hawaiian waters

Abstract: Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) of western Pacific nesting origins make 10-12 month trans-Pacific migrations to temperate foraging grounds of the California Current. Parts of this high-use coastal shelf habitat from Central California to Washington (USA) has been designated the Leatherback Conservation Area. Adult leatherbacks begin to arrive in early summer (June-July) when water temperatures reach 14-16 degrees C and large aggregations of gelatinous zooplankton develop. These aggregations of Scyphozoans (sea nettle, purple stripe, egg yolk, and moon jellyfish) offer abundant foraging options for the leatherbacks; but, dropping water temperatures in the Fall cause leatherbacks to seek warmer foraging grounds. Attachment of satellite tags to leatherbacks coupled with fishery data from the Hawaiian longliners has revealed that leatherbacks leave the cooling waters off the U.S. west coast in late October and overwinter in the warmer waters south of the Hawaiian Islands. This area is depicted by energy poor open blue waters; thus, the diet and habitat use of leatherbacks has been a puzzle to marine turtle biologists. Here we describe the missing piece of the puzzle—leatherbacks forage on epipelagic ‘fiery bodies’ such as pyrosomes and salps. When combined with empirical data on leatherback biology, energetics, and trophic status, these data further strengthen our knowledge of the ecosystem roles of leatherbacks in the Central North Pacific.

The presentation will be in the education alcove in the Hanauma Bay Education Center at 3:00 p.m. (public parking is $1.00/vehicle). Admittance to the lecture presentation will begin at 2:45 p.m. outside the entrance to the Education Center by the benches.  Those who are attending the lecture presentation ONLY and are admitted at this time by the Education staff will bypass the admission window.  Please do not arrive earlier than 2:45 p.m.  Patrons attending ONLY the Educational Lecture will be given a special red “Hawaii Sea Grant” hand stamp that will allow access into the education alcove for the lecture but no access to the beach itself.  Lecture will begin promptly at 3 p.m.

*Please NOTE: Anyone who wishes to go to the beach BEFORE the lecture, will be processed through the regular admission line and shall pay the admission fee of $7.50 (if you are not a Hawaii resident).

We hope to see you all there! These education programs are supported and funded by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation.

For more information on UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program events and activities, navigate to the “Calendar of Events” located at, like us on Facebook (, follow us on Twitter (@HanaumaOutreach), or Instagram (@hanaumaeducation).

Mahalo for your kind consideration and interest in the Hanauma Bay Education Program.


UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program