Changing Planet

The Worldwide Voyage Goes Underwater

 

Polynesian Voyaging Society crew members recently explored the only true tropical reef in the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary System, diving into the thriving waters of Fagatele Bay. The dive marks the first time the Polynesian Voyaging Society is “taking their voyage underwater” to show what a healthy ocean can look like. They were just south of the newly expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, approved by President Barack Obama on September 25.

Beginning with Hawaiʻi and French Polynesia, the Society Islands, and now Sāmoa, Worldwide Voyage crews are documenting inspiring local efforts to return to or expand traditional practices. On each of these islands, local governments and communities created “Mālama Honua” declarations identifying local actions that can increase the health of the larger Pacific Ocean that connects diverse islanders. These Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage “stories of hope” provide locally inspired models for protecting the ocean for all future generations.

For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit www.hokulea.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.

To read more about the largest protected area in the world visit http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140924-pacific-remote-islands-marine-monument-expansion-conservation/.

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Marisa Hayase works with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to support Hōkūleʻa’s journey around the world. While sailing 47,000 nautical miles, Hōkūle'a and her sister canoe Hikianalia work to string together a “lei” of stories--big and small--that bring people together and inspire a new pathway forward for the health of our oceans and planet. The Polynesian Voyaging Society preserves and strengthens the traditions, values and knowledge behind one of the greatest feats in human history. Thousands of years ago, Polynesians found and settled islands scattered over 10 million square miles of ocean, exploring unchartered waters and using only the stars, waves, and marine birds and animals to guide them. Hōkūle'a was built 600 years after the last of the Hawaiian sailing canoes had disappeared from sight but not memory. Hōkūle'a brought traditional Pacific exploration back to life and helped spark a revival of Hawaiian language, culture and knowledge. She is more than a voyaging canoe—she represents the hope shared by people of Hawai’i, the Pacific, and the world that we can protect our most cherished values and places from disappearance. Marisa has worked with nonprofit and government organizations nationally and internationally, conducting research in South America, Japan, México, and Europe. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. and has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. A resident of Kailua, Hawaiʻi, Marisa is happiest when learning new things, building community, and spending time outdoors with her husband, son, and daughter.

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