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Celebrate Earth Optimism at Kahekili Beach Park on Saturday

By Staff | Apr 20, 2017

Maui residents who care about the environment can’t consider current problems insurmountable and give up.

While there are many environmental concerns in Hawaii and our world today, there is also cause for celebration of conservation efforts that have resulted in success.

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22. A new facet is Earth Optimism.

“Earth Optimism is a global initiative that celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability,” noted organizers of the National Earth Optimism Summit taking place this weekend in Washington, D.C.

On Earth Day at Kahekili Beach Park in Kaanapali from 1 to 5 p.m., join members of the community, resource managers and scientists to talk story, learn more about one another and discuss areas of environmental concerns and conservation successes in our community and around the world.

At this official sister event of the Earth Optimism Summit hosted by the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area, the group will also Swim for Science out on the reef and share Earth Optimism for successful management of reefs at Kahekili and beyond for future generations.

Maui Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers will be there to participate in a DOCARE walk and talk story with participants to share enforcement perspectives of the marine management area.

Another component of the event will be the chance to learn about the Eyes of the Reef Network and its citizen science surveys.

“Maui Nui’s coral reefs are some of the most valuable reefs in the Main Hawaiian Islands, and they are all connected,” said Darla White of the Division of Aquatic Resources.

“However, many are stressed by land-based pollution, overfishing and warming oceans. Therefore, it is more important than ever to keep your eyes open for changes (e.g. white coral; increases in algae) and report them to the Eyes of the Reef (eorhawaii.org). Your reports matter!”

Another new element of Earth Day 2017 is the March for Science, the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies and governments.

At Kahekili, practicing science, optimism and conservation is helping the reef recover.

“We value science to learn about our world and inform policy. Therefore we swim in support of science and the Earth Optimism we have as a result of seeing scientific results showing improved ecosystem health at Kahekili,” commented Emily Kelly of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.