Knowledge inspires the necessary changes that our community needs and gives us all a means to get involved. More importantly than securing valuable volunteer support, conservation education creates a culture of awareness and appreciation for our natural resources. With an educated community, conservation becomes a way of life rather than just an activity or job.
Pono Pacific is committed to education and believes that increasing the public’s awareness of conservation issues, practices, native ecosystems, and native species will encourage everyone to contribute to the overall health of Hawaiʻi’s environment. Pono Pacific can help coordinate and develop curriculum as well as entire programs to assist you or your organization with environmental outreach.
Our experiences in educational programming include the development and coordination of the conservation focused programs to the youth of Hawaii since 2001. The following are some examples:
Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC): Pono Pacific started HYCC in 2001 with AmeriCorps funding. The program success has allowed it to transition into a non-profit organization, Kupu. Kupu now provides hundreds of paid internships, engages up to 17,000 volunteers, and provides more than $9 million benefit to Hawai`i through its programs annually. This includes over 230,000 service hours and close to a half million dollars in college and continued education funds to Hawai`i’s youth. To get involved in one of the many outstanding youth programs offered by Kupu, please visit their website at www.kupuhawaii.org
Maunalua Bay Invasive Alien Algae Removal: At the beginning of 2010, Pono Pacific was awarded a competitive contract by The Nature Conservancy and Malama Maunalua, with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds administered through NOAA, to remove 22 acres of the invasive alien algae Avrainvillea amadelpha from Maunalua Bay. Pono Pacific was able to hire 50+ full and part-time employees who successfully removed over 25 acres of algae by the end of the project. In the process, the crew instilled a sense of community pride and renewed care for the natural habitat in the bay.
Akoakoa Student Development Initiative (ASDI): This program was started with NOAA Bay Watershed Educational Training funding in 2012 designed to benefit the students of the Kohala Complex and Akoakoa Point in North Kohala. Effective partnerships were established with Kohala Middle School, Kohala Watershed Partnership, Malama Kai Foundation’s Ocean Warriors Program, Malama Kohala Kahakai, and the North Kohala Community Access Group. The result was approximately 0.25 acres of invasive vegetation removed, and 138 native ulei planted. Find out more about this program on our Outreach Page (www.ponopacific.com/outreach).