Earth Day for the Oceans
Big Ocean was honored to provide the context of Large-Scale MPA management globally to students from HWST 365 at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The class that concentrates on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site—and is taught by Kekuewa Kikiloi Ph.D., who is one of the very few people to have spent multiple days on the island of Mokumanamana, and thousands of hours researching the cultural context of its many sacred sites and heiau.
Our coordinator Naiʻa Lewis inspired the students with her story of previously working at Papahanaumokuakea and how Big Ocean was created. Originally the brainchild of ʻAulani Wilhelm, the then Superintendent of the Monument, the network started with six founding sites in 2010, and today membership stands at 17 of the Worldʻs largest MPAs representing 10 countries and protecting nearly 11 million square kilometers of ocean.
Big Ocean remains as the only peer learning resource for and by managers growing and professionalizing marine conservation and protection at-scale.