Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Hawaii’

Speak Up For Those Who Can’t

Gabriel,

Millions of whales and dolphins are about to be killed, permanently injured, or harmed, just so the U.S. Navy can run training exercises.

Whale Shark in Pacific Waters

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for the protection of these marine mammals, but instead of tossing out the Navy’s reckless training plan, it is about to give the Navy the green light.

We can get NMFS to block the Navy’s dangerous proposal, but we have to work fast. NMFS is gathering public comments on the Navy’s plan, and it won’t say no to the Navy unless they feel public outrage.

We have just 4 days left in the public comment period to flood NMFS with messages speaking up for the millions of whales and dolphins that cannot speak for themselves.

Act now and tell the NMFS to reject the Navy’s deadly proposal before it is too late.

Along the entire East Coast and in Hawaii, Southern California, and the Gulf of Mexico, the Navy will be testing sonar and explosive devices so deafening, they cause whales to abandon their normal feeding grounds and migration patterns. The Navy’s own report states that over 40 marine mammal species will be impacted, including the endangered humpback whale and the blue whale.

For marine mammals caught closer to the training exercises, the pain they would suffer would be immense. The powerful sonar blasts will destroy their hearing and even cause their brains to hemorrhage. Naval sonar has already led to mass whale strandings, as disoriented whales attempt to escape the noise.

We cannot allow this proposed training program to permanently disrupt the oceans these mammals call home. We must act now and demand that NMFS does its job and protect marine mammals, not aid in their extinction.

Tell NMFS that when it comes to marine mammals, there are no exceptions. We only have 4 more days to secure the safety of millions of marine mammals, so send in your comment now.

Together, we’ve won some amazing victories for whales in just the last few years. From stopping a plan for seismic testing off the coast of California to blocking South Korea’s attempts to restart its whaling program, our work is making a serious difference. With your support, we will continue the fight to protect the millions of whales and dolphins that are in danger.

For the whales,

Phil Kline
Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner

A Kaleidoscope of Species

Dear Friend,

Hawaiʻi’s famous coral reefs are known to contain a kaleidoscope of colorful species like the tinker’s butterflyfish, dragon eel, and harlequin shrimp. Unfortunately, if we don’t act soon, Hawaiʻi could lose these vibrant sea creatures and the reef ecosystems that depend on them.

Voice your support for protecting Hawaiʻi’s corals now.

The multi-million dollar exotic fish collection industry is capturing hundreds of thousands of bright coral reef fish and fragile invertebrates—many that play a vital role in protecting these corals—from Hawaiʻi’s reefs each year.

Alarmingly, the state is ignoring its own laws that mandate an environmental review before issuing permits for this potentially devastating practice. What’s worse, the state has absolutely NO limit on the number of these tropical marine creatures that can be captured for private profit.

Demand that the State of Hawaiʻi examine the cumulative damage to reef ecosystems before granting permits that allow unlimited removal of marine wildlife.

Coral reefs across the world are already at risk of ecological collapse—faced with serious threats from climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution. And, studies have determined that herbivorous fish and invertebrates on coral reefs—the primary targets of the commercial aquarium industry—are extremely important to reef health.

Earthjustice attorneys recently filed suit to require the state to comply with the environmental review procedures that are mandated by the Hawaiʻi Environmental Policy Act. But we need your support to put additional pressure on the state.

Scuba divers and snorkelers have indeed witnessed a disconcerting trend in recent years on their local reefs. One of our clients, a Hawaiʻi resident who has completed more than 10,000 scuba dives, has observed that particular species targeted by the tropical fish collection trade have completely vanished from certain reef areas. These devastating changes are taking place in areas that are open to commercial marine wildlife collection.

Our tenacious team of attorneys is fighting in court to demand that Hawaiʻi conduct an official environmental review of the effects of commercial aquarium collection on the reefs, and to stop all collecting while the study is being done. Please support our efforts to safeguard our nation’s coral reefs by sending a letter today!

Thanks for standing up for coral reefs and all of the marine wildlife that depend on them.

Sincerely,

Caroline Ishida
Associate Attorney
Earthjustice, Mid-Pacific Office

Hawaiian Sea Turtles

From Change.org

Protect Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Started by: Chris, Woodacre, California

My name is Chris Pincetich, and for as long as I can remember, my fondest childhood memories were swimming nearby Hawaii’s sea turtles. My family and friends on Oahu all care deeply about local green sea turtles, known as honu to native Hawaiians, but now the honu are threatened by a proposal to remove protections that have allowed them to thrive.

Over the last forty years, hunting of sea turtles has been banned on Hawaii and now it is common to see sea turtles basking in the sun without fear. If hunting them were again allowed, they would be slaughtered on public beaches for their meat and shells, to be sold to restaurants and turned into souvenirs.

Take action before the October 1 to ensure a future for Hawaiian honu!

Thanks to conservation work by SeaTurtles.org and allies, sea turtles have a fighting chance to recover from the brink of extinction. In Hawaii, they are rebounding from just 67 nesting females to over 800 now. However, their population is far short of the published goal of 5,000 Pacific green sea turtles needed to declare their population as recovered.

The honu are innocent ancient ocean navigators that deserve protection from hunting. The National Marine Fisheries Service needs to hear from you today that you oppose removing them from the Endangered Species Act, oppose the movement to allow hunting of sea turtles, and support protecting critical habitat for the honu. (Proposed rule NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154)

Join our ‘Ohana (family) at SeaTurtles.org to protect the honu, check the box when you sign-on to keep informed!

Click here to sign CHRIS’s petition, “National Marine Fisheries Service: Protect Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles”.

Women On Front Lines

Women are offering their personal resources, time and energy like never before. At least 59 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. in 2002 by United Way said they had volunteered or done community service work in the previous year and those numbers have continued to rise in the last eight years. Thinking about others and getting beyond our own selfish desires, seems to be a trend that nobody wants to stop.

Of course people volunteer for different reasons and are moved by a variety of intentions. Some folks want to get out of a rut, keep busy, feel needed or recognized and make new friends; others to have an impact or for personal growth. And some simply think it’s the right thing to do. As Daisy Gale, a quilting instructor, mother of eight and girls softball coach from Utah says, “It doesn’t matter how much you get involved or where, just get involved! Give a little each paycheck; donate time and/or energy. You don’t have to travel overseas. Go ahead and get your hands dirty.”

Daisy and seven other women did go overseas and joined a group doing humanitarian work in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. They provided medical care, job education and trauma relief for over 150 children at The ROP Center for Street Children. Like volunteering in the U.S., they didn’t have to take the time away from their jobs, families and homes to lend a hand, but they did and every single member felt they received more than they gave. “I haven’t volunteered much in my life,” says Joanna Ransier, a nurse in her fifties. “Raising three children and going through a divorce was more than enough. I never expected this to come around.”

Dottie Webster, a sixty-three year old housewife from Arizona, smiles, “We treated them (the orphans) and opened their hearts and helped them relieve some of the fears and pains. They know we care.” This sense of giving and receiving, even in the midst of some of humanities worst suffering, consistently runs through these women’s thoughts. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to give back,” smiles Caroline Sakai, a psychiatrist from Hawaii. “So many of the kids said before they felt so different and they didn’t have hope and now they feel like they have hope.”

There are over a million orphans in Rwanda and countless agencies, both government and private, trying to ease the impact such numbers have on society, by providing food, clothing, shelter and education, but there are still thousands of children living on the streets or temporarily housed in government centers, only to be released back on their own after three to six months.

The children at ROP are some of the lucky ones who have a home, food, clothes, medical care and some education. Upon entering the abandoned automotive warehouse that was once used for ROP, the team was greeted with exuberant music and dance by the children, teachers and staff. “This trip reminded me of what’s important,” says Paula Herring, a forty-year-old business management teacher from California. “Before I came I thought of the kids as having nothing and little to be thankful for, but since working at the orphanage I saw a lot of potential and a sense of hope that not only they, but most Rwandan’s seem to have.”

Some problems, both locally, nationally and internationally seem so big that people dismiss them as unsolvable, hopeless or impossible to solve. Feelings of helplessness and impotence in the face of such seemingly unsolvable dilemmas can create apathy, detachment and a turning away from the realities in the world, let alone on our front door. And yet . . . the fact is that you don’t have to solve ALL the existing problems or end ALL the suffering in the world. Yes, you can look at the big picture and provide the maximum impact for the most people possible, but it still comes down to helping one person at a time. Suzanne Connolly, a grandmother from Arizona who was teaching trauma relief with the women in Rwanda said, “We try to stay in the background and train the community. The teachers are the ones that will continue to be here when we leave, not us.” When people find ways to multiply their giving and leave tools for living, it can literally touch thousands of lives.

Most of the children at ROP are survivors of the 1994 genocide and the AIDS pandemic, which took their parents, families and relatives lives. Yet, even in the aftermath of some of the worst atrocities ever perpetrated by humans upon other humans, people have found hope, renewal and inspiration. “I think I walked into this experience with a lot of sympathy for the kids because they have so little and I, as an American, have so much,” Kelli Barber, a young nurse from Tennessee explains, “and so many of the kids were dealing with trauma and shame. It didn’t take long for me to realize that they were much more than their past or their circumstances. I was really inspired by their strength, sense of community and spirit.”

Remembering you “can’t do it all” is just as important when you volunteer, as it is with your own job or family. No matter how clear or well defined your intentions are, you are human. Everyone has different limits, boundaries, amounts of energy and personal resources. Whitney Woodruff, a nurse practitioner in her twenties, who was in charge of the medical team at the orphanage, says insight-fully, “Working with the kids here is overwhelming. I’ve seen more children in one day then I do in a week of private practice and they are dealing with such an array of issues. I’m so glad we’re taking a two day break.” All of the advice that people give to “take care of yourself” can be used when you volunteer – give your self breaks; no when to stop; find healthy ways to relax and rejuvenate; and be sure to pause, take a deep breathe and remember that you are just as important as those you are helping.

Whether you’re checking in on a neighbor across the street, volunteering in your community with children, youth or elders or flying around the world to help orphaned children in Africa, just DO something and be clear why you’re doing it. Audrey Blumeneau, a teacher and mother of five, originally from Chicago, joined the women who worked at The ROP Center for Street Children. She says, “I originally went to be with my husband, who was asked to contribute to the orphanage work, but once I was there I realized I had come home to a second home. I cared not because they were orphans in a land and culture I found fascinating or because they had experienced such great loss, but because they were just like my kids. We all need the same thing . . . to love, be loved and remembered.”

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