Hānau ka ʻuku koʻakoʻa, hanau kana, he ʻākoʻakoʻa puka
(A coral insect was born, from which was born perforated coral)
Oceans are the lungs of the earth. They produce 50 – 80% of our oxygen and consume 25% of our carbon dioxide. Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems, and are home to 25 % of our ocean’s creatures, from tiny algae to great white sharks. Reefs bring in billions of dollars from fishing and tourism, and protect our beaches and coastlines from storms. Reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate.
The Hawaiian archipelago has suffered from several extreme coral bleaching events, caused by high ocean temperatures. According to UNESCO, 90% of coral will die by 2050, if climate change stops today. The ocean is dying–and with it much of our world’s food supply
What can we do? President Obama created the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, protecting 582,578 square miles near Hawaii. During its travels, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage gathered stories of hope and mālama honua of innovative ocean and environmental global solutions. Sister canoe Hikianalia uses science and sustainable technologies to share stories with students of all ages. Dive into ocean conservation, and sign up for a beach cleanup or a honu (turtle) watch. Be sure and slather on reef-safe sunscreen!