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Community action guide aims to help restore abundance to oceans

The Maui Nui Makai Network announces the launch of the Malama I Ke Kai: Community Action Guide designed to help groups succeed in community-based management of the oceans across Hawaii nei and beyond.

The guide was developed with the help of The Nature Conservancy to support other groups working to protect and restore makai areas in ways that honor and perpetuate Hawaiian and local traditions and customs. The guide provides step-by-step guidance. It is free and available for download at mauinui.net.

Network Chair and co-founder Claudia Kalaola of Na Mamo O Mu’olea explains, “This Guide is a product of years of working together to implement ‘ike Hawai’i, science, and common sense in the way we manage our makai areas and resources. Ke kahua (the foundation) is vital to the success of any community that wants to organize and develop a coastal management plan, and this process provides a strong foundation.”

Kanaka maoli possess traditional knowledge that is passed from generation to generation.

“The impacts of the pandemic have made it clear that now is the time to reimagine our future and move into action. We cannot wait,” says Polanui Hiu and Network co-founder Edwin “Ekolu” Lindsey. “Our expertise, knowledge, and kuleana (responsibility) are critical to achieving sustainability and the state’s goal of effectively managing 30 percent of nearshore areas by 2030, so that generations to come inherit a thriving, vibrant ocean. And as we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, let’s remember to celebrate the kanaka maoli who generously share the wisdom of their kupuna to keep Hawaiian ingenuity and tradition alive.”

Ke Ao Hali’i Save the Hana Coast’s John “Irish” O’Hara reflected on how the process helped four community groups develop a collective plan to strengthen mauka-makai resource management in East Maui. “Our experience with the Maui Nui Makai Network and the Malama I Ke Kai process has been most enjoyable and very beneficial to our group. At a time when we were developing and needed all the help that we could get, they provided knowledge, information, direction, and the cohesiveness to pull us all together.”

The Maui Nui Makai Network works to reverse the dramatic declines of limu (algae), coral, fish, and other marine life we have witnessed in recent decades. Our members are committed to perpetuating Hawaiian traditions and restoring ‘aina momona to secure this cultural and natural legacy for present and future generations.

The Maui Nui Makai Network is a nonprofit learning network of seven community groups located on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai and three supporting conservation organizations.

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