Fencing meant to protect dunes and turtles

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Area Park Ranger Courtney Brown (right) and Cheryl King, vice president and Maui research coordinator for the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, bolt a section of fencing together along North Kihei Road on Tuesday morning. The fence made from recycled plastic is designed to keep nesting sea turtles from cresting the dunes and stepping into traffic. In separate incidents in the 1990s, a pair of endangered hawksbill turtles were killed when struck by cars. It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 adult female hawksbills that nest in Hawaii. King said the fencing is also a way to protect the dunes, which see a lot of activity being so close to both the road and the beach. The project also involves removing the old wood and wire sand fencing that formerly protected the turtles and fragile dunes.

Workers from the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Kupu program dig holes and place posts on Tuesday while helping with the project to install nearly 1 mile of recycled plastic fencing. Shown (from right) are Inanna Carter, Travis Sabatino, Pualalea Barrows, Keoni Frampton and Mikiala Taylor.