Congratulations - WE DID IT!!!!
We are incredibly pleased to announce that the educational video at Hanauma Bay has finally been updated to remove scenes of visitors walking on the fragile coral reef!!!
In fact, the new video goes to great lengths to make it extremely clear that walking or standing on the reef is incredibly detrimental to the health of the marine ecosystem.
Thank you a million times over for supporting HOA's Change.org Petition, for writing letters to DPR and your elected representatives, and for everyone who shared this concern with friends and family in order to raise awareness.
Many thanks also go out to the leadership at Friends of Hanauma Bay (Lisa Bishop, Bob Kern, et al), the staff at HB and DPR, and our elected representatives for understanding both the need for this update and for supporting our efforts to make a change.
It is truly incredible to think that the ONE MILLION visitors to Hanauma Bay each year will leave with a greater understanding of how to safely interact with fragile reef environments. These visitors will no doubt take this enhanced understanding and share it with loved ones both far and wide at other reefs around the world!
Mahalo nui loa and malama 'aina!
- Al Smith
P.S. Hope to catch you all at a beach clean up at HB soon! And if you aren't already, please follow Friends of Hanauma Bay on Facebook and Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors on IG to stay updated on volunteer opportunities, educational opportunities, and current conservation efforts. Mahalo!
We understand that our voices have been heard and that a new educational video for Hanauma Bay is currently in production!
Thank you to the nearly 9,500 people who signed our petition!
While we had hoped this would have happened sooner, we are thrilled to know that a new video will soon be available that will hopefully remove the misleading segments.
It's not too late however to continue to Sign & Share to ensure that timely completion and roll-out of the video remains a high priority item.
Mahalo for all of your support and efforts to better preserve and protect our fragile marine ecosystem, ensuring that both visitors and locals alike receive the best education possible.
Update: Hanauma Bay Petition to Update Educational Video Has Reached Almost 9,000 Signatures
Thank you all so much for taking the time to sign the petition and for supporting our efforts aimed at encouraging Hanauma Bay to improve their video and signage in hopes of better educating visitors about the fragility of the coral reef and the pressing need to respect our marine ecosystem!
As of today we have 8,984 signatures!!!
We have the support of:
- Current and Former Lifeguards at Hanauma Bay
- Hawaii Residents
- Non-Hawaii Residents
- Current and Former Volunteer Educational Staff at Hanauma Bay
- Local music sensation - Tavana
- Michael David Loftin - Founder of 808 Cleanups
- Joe and Kimsha Byrne - Co-Founders of Beachcombers808
- Reef Check Hawaii
...and many, many more...
We are gaining momentum and the attention of our family, our friends, our neighbors, and importantly, our elected officials.
If each person who signed is able to get just one additional signature each - whether by discussing the petition with friends and family, sharing the petition on social media, or sending emails out with the link - we'd have 20,000 signatures!!!
Please take a moment to share with those in your life and let's see if we can't keep the ball rolling and effect some change!
Mahalo nui loa and aloha!
- Al Smith
Change.org Petition - Hanauma Bay: Improved Signage, Video, & Education Efforts for Coral Reef Preservation & Marine Life Protection
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve has been named by 'Dr. Beach' as the #1 Beach in the United States for 2016. This story was reported by CNN, MSN, and other major news organizations on 5/26/2016.
With an estimated 3,000 visitors to Hanauma Bay each day, coupled with this recent news of its #1 ranking being released just ahead of Memorial Day weekend - which is sure to drive even additional visitor interest to the historic, cultural, and natural gem - changes need to be made to better educate visitors on preserving the coral reef and protecting marine life.
Upon visiting the park on any of the six days of the week the Nature Preserve & Marine Life Conservation District is open to visitors, one is sure to see a large number of snorkelers standing on the reef, as well as disturbing sea turtles and other marine life.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve currently makes it mandatory for each visitor to first watch a 9 minute video about the history of Hanauma Bay, the types of fish and coral one is likely to see while snorkeling, and helpful tips and information for avoiding damage to the reef and marine life.
Unfortunately, the video is shown only in English and includes video clips of people standing on the reef and also a person chasing a sea turtle with hands outstretched as if trying to touch the threatened species.
Additionally, beyond the educational center, upon descending down the hill to the beach and on the beach itself there are hardly any reminders to avoid contact with the reef.
Below are the requested changes:
1) Currently, the Introduction video that is mandatory for each visitor is shown in English with people walking on the reef and a person trying to closely interact with a sea turtle. We would request a budgetary allotment be made for a remake or edit of the video to remove these scenes which are likely to confuse non-English speakers and English speakers alike.
2) More prominent and visual image heavy signage be placed on the descent to the beach, at the beach itself, and at the Information and Snorkel Renting centers on the beach front regarding not stepping on or touching coral, stirring up sediment, or touching, disturbing or threatening marine life.
3) Encourage lifeguard staff to issue reminders by megaphone to visitors that standing on the reef is not permitted or provide on-beach staff of the Preserve to serve in this capacity.
4) Provide educational signs with multiple translations to account for the global demographic of visitors that flock to Hanauma Bay each day.
Please sign this petition to encourage the Department of Land & Natural Resources, State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, and our elected representatives to take further action aimed at better educating visitors to Hanauma Bay about the environmental impacts of standing on or otherwise damaging the coral reef, as well as the impacts of disturbing or otherwise threatening marine life.