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‘He’e Nalu No Ka Mauna’ paddle-out event today at Launiupoko

Surfers and ocean enthusiasts will gather at beaches across the state from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today during “He’e Nalu No Ka Mauna,” organized to prevent construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea and to illustrate how the mountains and oceans are connected.

The event will culminate with a paddle-out ceremony at noon at specific beaches around Hawaii; Maui’s location is Launiupoko Beach Park in Lahaina. Workshops, hula, cultural protocol and Hawaiian music performances will also be held.

Earlier this month, thousands of surfers around the world helped raise awareness via social media about the effort to halt the construction of TMT on Mauna Kea. Watermen and waterwomen used hashtags #SurfersForMaunaKea and #MaukaToMakai to show solidarity with the kia’i, or guardians, of Mauna Kea. “Furthermore, he’e nalu (surfing) was invented in Hawai’i therefore the international surf community and Native Hawaiians have a shared cultural ancestry,” organizers said.

Participants, who are encouraged to practice kapu aloha, should bring their own surfboards, bodyboards and canoes.

Prominent Native Hawaiian surfers such as two-time World Surf League (WSL) longboard champion Kelia Moniz, as well as Championship Tour competitors Seth Moniz and Ezekiel Lau, posted support for the protection of Mauna Kea and their opposition of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Instagram, according to organizers. Two-time WSL champion John John Florence and prolific waterman Kai Lenny also joined in the #SurfersForMaunaKea campaign.

For information, visit www.facebook.com/protectmaunakea/ on Facebook and @protectmaunakea on Instagram.