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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 3:51 p.m., Friday, December 21, 2007

Celebrate the Year of the Reef at Maui Ocean Center

The Maui News

MA'ALAEA — Marine education programs at the Maui Ocean Center will take a special look at the reefs that surround the islands during the International Year of the Reef observance in 2008, the center has announced.

It will include a new monthly program, Night at the Reef, in which aquarium naturalists will explain the behavior of marine organisms after dark. The first Night at the Reef will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 17, with future programs held on the second or third Thursdays of each month, with a special admission price of $18.

Children will have a night of their own on Jan. 4, when an overnight aquarium exploration event will be held. The sleepover is patterned after similar programs held at museums, during which participants explore the facilities, with other informational events included, The Maui News reported.

It is geared for children in grades 3 to 8, and includes a pizza dinner and a pancake breakfast. The cost is $70, and reservations are required by calling 808-270-7075.

There also will be daytime activities, with a series of talks on "The Living Reef" to be held four times each day at the Shallow Reef exhibit. Other talks by aquarium naturalists include the "Open Ocean," also four times a day at the Open Ocean Pelagic exhibit, and "Turtle Lagoon," twice a day at the Turtle Lagoon exhibit.

A Sea Talk on Jan. 22 will also focus on the reefs, with Ku'ulei Rodgers speaking on "Local and Global Threats to the stability of Hawai'i's coral Reefs. Rodgers is a marine biologist with the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology. Sea Talk programs are free, with gates opening at 5:50 p.m. for the 6 p.m. presentation.

The Maui Ocean Center is a private marine education facility, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $23 for adults, $16 for children, $20 for seniors. For information on programs, call 808-270-7075 or 808-270-7000, or go to www.mauioceancenter.com.

For more Maui news, visit The Maui News.