We are so incredibly proud and grateful for everything our supporters and volunteers did to help us achieve success on the following projects:
* The Educational Video at Hanauma Bay was changed to no longer show people walking on coral reefs or approaching/touching Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. This success was the result of a Change.org petition, numerous meetings, emails, phone calls, and letters to State and City officials, and the combined efforts of the Friends of Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors, and the Department of Parks & Recreation.
* The State of Hawaii banned the sale of Sunscreen containing the reef-killing chemical Oxybenzone. Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors (HOA) worked alongside Dr. Craig Downs who conducted the scientific study to advocate for the ban, including published interviews, letter-writing and phone call drives to our state and local representatives, and provided testimony at the State Capitol. This effort took two years and failed in the State Legislature in 2017, but was successful in the 2018 Legislative Session! Hawaii is the first State in the United States to pass such a ban, and other States look to be quickly following suit! Thank you all so, so much for all of the calls, emails, and for sharing this critical information with your friends and families!
In addition to these efforts, HOA also conducted dozens and dozens of beach cleanups on Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and New Jersey, introducing many folks to the size and scope of the devastation that our consumer society is having on the Ocean and our Coastlines.
We look forward to working with State Representatives in 2019 and beyond on getting several new bills passed in the State of Hawaii, including a ban on plastic straws and a ban on polystyrene food containers. We are also working to get mechanized sand sifters for Oahu's windward beaches.
Stay tuned as Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors turns the page on another year and begins to attack a whole new set of environmental challenges in the year ahead - and thank you all endlessly for all of the support along the way!!!