Beach Lovers Conference Coming to Hawaii

  • The conference is led by beachcomb experts, coastal authors, area archaeologists, historians, geologists and marine scientists. (COURTESY PHOTO)
    The conference is led by beachcomb experts, coastal authors, area archaeologists, historians, geologists and marine scientists. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Finding seashells along the beach is a favorite pastime in Hawaii, and for the first time the International Beachcombing Conference (IBC) is coming to Hawaii Island, May 11 through 14. Hosted at Anna Ranch in Waimea, the 7th annual event is selling out fast and is limited to 55 participants.

The only coastal conference of its kind, the four-day event is led by Waimea resident Deacon Ritterbush, PhD, better known as Dr. Beachcomb. IBC focuses on the region with field trips and tutorials led by beachcomb experts, coastal authors, area archaeologists, historians, geologists and marine scientists. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Gary Greenberg, author of “Grains of Sand.” Other speakers include volcanologist Frank Truesdell; shipwreck specialist, Richard Rogers; Mary Beth Beuke, author of the “Ultimate Guide to Sea Glass;” Dr. Deacon Ritterbush, author of “A Beachcomber’s Odyssey,” and Mauna Lani’s cultural advisor Danny Akaka.

Activities also include beach arts workshops, beach treasure I.D sessions, films, group discussions, goody bags and a swap table of free beach treasures for tabletop combing. Each activity is designed to give attendees a broader view of factors affecting where and how to beachcomb, why certain things appear on the local shorelines, and tricks to determine the age and/or origin of beach finds in this region and elsewhere. Optional free field trips include a hike to Pololu Valley, and a nighttime visit to Volcano National Park to experience Kilauea Volcano erupting in the dark.

The conference is followed by Hawaii’s 1st Sea Glass Coastal Arts Festival on Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open to the public, the event features the best of the best North American coastal arts painters, sculptors, authors and jewelers. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 per adult and free for children 12 and under. A portion of the proceeds will benefit coastal conservation efforts.

Vendors can purchase a pass to sell their goods for four days or just at the festival. The number of vendor booths is limited, and artists interested in participating can find more details or reserve a spot at http://www.thebeachcombingconference.com/SeaGlassVendorInfo.html, or contact Dr. Beachcomb at [email protected]

For more information on the four-day IBC conference and to register, visit www.thebeachcombingconference.com. The IBC ’16 committee is also offering a special rate for full-time Hawaii Island residents. Email [email protected] to register.

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