Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 12am







    Monday, May 21, 2018-7:16:51P.M.






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American Memorial Park to hold free underwater explorer camp

AMERICAN Memorial Park, with the support of the Pacific Historic Park, will hold its first Underwater Explorer Summer Camp which will educate children about their marine environment while honoring those who perished here during World War II.

The camp is open to children six to nine years old, and will start on July 25, continuing until July 27.

Registration is at the American Memorial Park Visitor Center. For more information, call 234-7207.

“The camp focuses on underwater exploration — the variety of marine environments and marine life we have, because I feel that students need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Riya Nathrani, the ranger teacher coordinator for the Underwater Explorer Summer Camp.

“The park’s mission is to honor the people who gave their lives during the Marianas campaign of World War II. So the camp will also allow the students to see the underwater artifacts like tanks, airplane wrecks and other things that were used during the war and their importance during the war,” she said.

“I hope that when the students finish the program, they will have a better understanding of why it is important to take care of our marine environment, especially since we live on a beautiful island. They should be more appreciative of the resources that we have and know that in other places, people don’t have such beautiful scenery or underwater creatures. I want them to have a better understanding of why it is important to keep our beaches clean,” Nathrani said.

Jovannalyn Mafnas, education specialist for the Pacific Historic Park, said the program has a lot of activities for children, including hand-on arts and crafts, and going around the park to get a closer look at the marine environment.

“We will be having some speakers from the Bureau of Environmental Coastal and Quality and the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance to discuss coral reefs and marine debris. On the last day, we will be going on a glass-bottom boat ride so they can see the marine environment and the artifacts from World War II.”

Mafnas said they can only accommodate 40 children. “We will have two sessions — 20 students in the morning and another 20 in the afternoon.”

Funding for project came from the Pacific Historic Park, a non-profit organization that runs a bookstore in Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor National Park.

“We have three other bookstores in Hawaii as well as on Guam. All the money they make goes back to the park and its programs,” Mafnas said.