|Public Meeting: Hannah Bernard
Save Honolua Coalition
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by Tamara Paltin
Tonight's Save Honolua Coalition speaker was Hannah Bernard a co-founder of the Hawaii Wildlife Foundation, an environmental activist and community based management plan organizer. Hannah is actively involved with the Makai Watch program which originally began in Miloli'i on the Big Island and because of its success has begun to spread throughout the state. Hannah has been working a lot with the Ahihi Kina'u natural area reserve located in South Maui and she encouraged our coalition to compare and contrast the similarities and strategize solutions that take the best of the current management plan for Ahihi Kina'u and tailor it to meet our needs for Honolua which is a marine life conservation district.
About thirty years ago both Ahihi Kina'u and Honolua both earned protected status and fishing was cut off in these areas. However, they were not protected from the tourist who are not educated about how to protect the area from degradation. These areas are so important to the community and the government has no plan or resources to manage the area, that is why it is crucial that the community stays involved and becomes the advisory group that will manage the area and shine a spotlight on the threats and problems that we may encounter and figure out solutions that we all can live with. We need to prioritize what is important for the immediate future and also have a long term plan. This is how it starts, we must identify the threats, then look at what steps to take to mitigate the threats. We must create county ordinances to hold big industries accountable for their actions. We must vote to pass legislation to require all major airlines bringing in tourists to show educational videos about how to be a responsible visitor and take care of our island resources many of which are unique and can not be found anywhere else in the world.
The main message I took away from this speaker is that there are things we can do now and organizations that have also been collecting data and educating the public such as the Makai Watch, Project Sea Link and Local Action Strategy and we can work with them before laws are passed and before the land is actually acquired. There is no question that we will ultimately manage the land and must come up with a management plan that is sensitive to the needs of everyone, especially the health of the bay, land and spirit of Honolua.
There was much more so keep a heads up for youtube or akaku showings of this meeting, next weeks speaker will be Ed Lindsey who is working on weekend restoration projects around Maui.
Hannah Bernard: Part 1
Hannah Bernard: Part 2
Hannah Bernard: Part 3