Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
MPAs are being used around the world as an effective management tool for protecting ocean ecosystems. MPAs function as a safe haven for marine life and provide places where the ocean can rebuild. These areas also enhance the resilience of ocean ecosystems to withstand the cumulative impacts of human and natural stressors (e.g., pollution, coastal development, commercial fishing, climate change, etc.).
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, also known as Papahanaumokuakea, was designated as a Marine National Monument in 2006 and expanded in 2016 by President Obama. It currently has potential to be threatened by the Trump administration due to lobbying by WESPAC, the commercial fishing industry. They are inappropriately using COVID-19 as an excuse to remove protections. More information here.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the largest contiguous fully protected conservation area under the U.S. flag, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It encompasses 582,578 square miles of the Pacific Ocean (1,508,870 square kilometers) – an area larger than all the country’s national parks combined.
History of Protecting Special Places
- When the Obayashi Corporation tried to develop the Pupukea-Paumalu area above Sunset Beach, the Oahu Chapter worked with the Japanese corporation and local officials and formed an alliance with Keep the Country Country, Trust for Public Land, Kokua Foundation, Surfrider Japan and other groups to stop the development. Working together for years, we were able to preserve the land in a public trust.
- The Oahu Chapter has also worked to save special places like Waimea Valley and Kakaʻako Park.
- We have worked with the Defend Oahu Coalition and other groups to preserve Kawela Bay from overdevelopment by the Turtle Bay Resort, which wants to quadruple the size of the resort based on a 20-year old Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).