365 Kona Newbie Sponsorship Provides Free Reef Safe Sunscreen To Public at Kahalu’u Bay in Kailua Kona

Kahaluu Beach Park
Earlier this year, my husband and I met with the Reef Teach Program volunteers and Director to do a video about coral spawning at Kahalu’u Beach Park and why it was important for the public to avoid swimming in the bay. During that time, the group mentioned that they had acquired hands free sunscreen dispensers, but needed funding to keep the chemical sunscreen flowing for visitors at Kahaluu Beach park wanting to snorkel in the bay.

Challenge Accepted for Fundraising!

I put a challenge out to the 365Kona Newbies Group, a group I founded in 2012, to help raise $2000 to purchase the reef safe sunscreen and it would become a 365Kona Newbies sponsorship of the sunscreen dispenser!
Through generous donations from members of the group, a potluck fundraising dinner at my house and an artist providing 50% of the sales of her acrylic tiles, we raised the money within a month!
On the morning of September 28,2021, myself, my husband and a few of our members came to see the sponsored dispenser and collect mahalos from Cindi Punahaole, Reef Teach Program Director who is BEYOND thankful to this group for our kokua!

Community Volunteer Opportunities Exist!

We also had an opportunity to talk about volunteering at the bay and the program leaders wanted me to let you know that they accept volunteers who have ANY time to give to help them with the program through beach clean ups, or helping guests see the dispenser and offering to trade out their harmful sunscreen for mineral sunscreen at the dispensers. The Reef Teach program also has educational resources as to the inhabitants of the bay and the ecosystem. Here is the link https://kohalacenter.org/kbec/reefteach
(Bonus-I found out today that Kahalu’u means “the diving place!”)
Here is the video we did in Spring 2021 which kicked off the request for the public’s help, why chemical sunscreen is harming the bay and why how Reef Teach is protecting this valuable natural resource.

Reef Teach Volunteers, Julie and Eric Ziemelis, and Cindi Punihaole, Program Director.

Questions about which sunscreen to purchase? Here is a poster of a variety of SAFE sunscreens to use in Hawaii.

What is the 365 Kona Newbies Group?

It is a community I have created using a Facebook group by the same name, where living Pono on the island is at the forefront.
We hold community events in order for new residents to meet other new residents, and a forum for people to ask questions about moving to West Hawaii, sharing events, businesses and ideas to help members be successful residents all with Aloha. We offer cultural education opportunities and places where people can volunteer and show Kokua to Hawaii.
People who wish to join, need to answer the questions and have a profile photo.

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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