Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 2:18 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aqua Kids learn about Homer area

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

Four of the Aqua Kids cast — Drew Bostwick, 14; Clark Dehart, 21; Katie Mulligan, 15; and Rachael Coccia, 21 — enjoy a lunch of clam chowder and fresh oysters on the deck of the Kachemak Bay Shellfish Growers Co-Op building on Tuesday.

A crew from the Emmy-winning television show Aqua Kids was in the Homer area this week to learn about "all the conservation efforts to protect Kachemak Bay," said Liza Hozapfel.

Hozapfel and Katrina Mueller served as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinators and guides for four members of the show's cast and part of its production team during an Alaska visit that began July 22.

Among those representing the television program were George A. Stover III, Aqua Kids' creator, executive producer, chief videographer and editor. Stover said after realizing the planet's oceans were "falling apart," he wondered what he could do to turn that around.

The answer came eight years ago when Stover filmed a pilot for Aqua Kids. The popularity of the pilot lead to the show's syndication. It now reaches 95 million homes a week in the Lower 48, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Through Aqua Kids, Stover has found a way to motivate young people — and through them, he hopes to reach their parents and future generations — to become involved in preserving aquatic environments and wildlife by showing them what other kids are doing.

Aqua Kids' visit to Alaska follows a trip to Hawaii. Representing the show's cast, all volunteers, were 14-year-old Drew Bostwick of Maryland, 15-year-old Katie Mulligan of Connecticut, 21-year-old Rachael Coccia of New York and 21-year-old Clark Dehart of Virginia.

River rafting, sightings of bear and moose and the cold temperature of Alaska waters were among the highlights mentioned by the four during a lunch from Captain Pattie's Fish House on Tuesday.

"And it's so pretty," said Drew, a comment that drew agreement from the other cast members.

Since arriving in Anchorage July 22, their itinerary has included meeting with experts in the areas of aquatic conservation and bear habitat, birds, working in and around cold water, streambank restoration, rain gardens and the movement of juvenile salmon.

In Homer, they have visited the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, met with Dave Brann to hear about the Kachemak Bay Water Trail, and enjoyed a lunch of clam chowder and oysters with Monte Davis of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on the deck of the Kachemak Bay Shellfish Grower's Co-Op. They toured the Coal Point Seafood facility and visited the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.

They also were scheduled to travel across Kachemak Bay to the CACS field station at Peterson Bay, the Kasitsna Bay Lab and to hear about the subsistence way of life from Seldovia Village Tribe elders.

The Hawaii and Alaska visits will be the basis for the upcoming season's shows, which will begin airing in October and November. They can be seen through KTVA Channel 11, the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, and KFXF Channel 7, the Fox affiliate in Fairbanks.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.