The Special Places Initiative is designed to protect and restore coastal ecosystems through a proactive approach to conservation through Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) and conservation. Marine protected areas 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. Marine Protected Areas can also enhance the resilience of ocean ecosystems to withstand the cumulative impacts of human and natural stressors (e.g., pollution, coastal development, fishing pressure, climate change, etc.). Ecosystem-based management is necessary to protect our coastal and ocean environment. At our monthly meetings and beach cleanups, the Oahu Chapter tries to educate our members and the public about the connections between our watersheds, shorelines, and oceans – and the human uses that affect them. We also need to develop a shared strategy for protection among the many government agencies and citizen groups that have an interesting role to play. 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 Kaka’ako Park, and we are currently working 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).