“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community again in this capacity and to bring greater focus to our natural resources and those who strive to protect them,” Parsons said.
“A healthy environment enhances everyone’s quality of life — visitors, residents, indeed all living species. I encourage everyone to participate and to offer their input as to where the Arakawa administration’s environmental efforts are needed most. This kind out community input and outreach is essential.”
As Maui County’s first environmental coordinator, Parsons established close working relationships with the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maui Invasive Species Council, EPA, watershed protection organizations and dozens of other community-based environmental groups and governmental agencies.
Through those alliances, Parsons helped to initiate and monitor the “Pump Don’t Dump” initiative for Maalaea boaters to protect ocean resources from wastewater dumping, assisted with the coastal acquisition of 277 acres at Waihee and 73 acres at Muolea Point in Hana, began hands-on wetlands restoration efforts at Laie in central Kihei and helped with rapid-response to the wiliwili gall wasp infestation.
Parsons also aided with planning and implementing the Appliance Recycle weekend that resulted in citizens sending 55 shipping containers to Oahu for processing, while Maui struggled with having no state-approved metal recycling facility for two years.
“Rob’s excellent people and communication skills, his ability to work with diverse groups and organizations, and passion to helping set environmental goals and making sure that those goals are met were key factors in my reappointing Rob to this key position,” said Arakawa.
During the past four years, Rob Parsons worked with national consumer advocate Food & Water Watch as Hawaii liaison on open ocean aquaculture issues and served as a member of Maui County Renewable Energy Alliance’s Working Group for Carbon Dioxide and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. He also researched and authored nearly 200 articles on topics that include sustainability, renewable energy and biofuels, local food production and agriculture revitalization.