Turtles hit the beach at Hookipa

How many green sea turtles can you count? Green sea turtles haul out at Hookipa Beach Park on Wednesday morning. A lifeguard on duty said there are days when as many as 30 of the endangered turtles come ashore at the Hana end of the popular county beach. Warning tape and signs kept beachgoers at bay Wednesday. According to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Pacific Islands Regional Office website, while green sea turtle populations are in decline globally, the species has seen a 53 percent increase in Hawaii over the past 25 years. They have been protected in Hawaii since 1978.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos