As I ventured around the island of O’ahu, I could easily see how import the preservation initiative is there in Hawai’i. There is definitely a lot of development, but the afterthought of that development is on the minds of Hawai’ians and those who visit. The conservation effort and protection of the ‘aina, or land, is viewed as a matter of Hawai’ian kuleana (responsibility and privilege) and I wanted to highlight one of the efforts I saw on this short trip.
We visited the amazing Hanauma Bay State Park. This bay has a long, beautiful history that includes use by native fisherman to the recreation of kings. In the mid 1900s, this location gained fame as a fabulous snorkeling area due to its unique horseshoe bay shape and volcanic rock coral beds. This area is home to species of fish that are only found in this sweet little bay. By the early 1990s, efforts to “save” this bay from over exposure to humans and maintain the rarity of its ecosystem spurred a conservation effort whose results are seen today.
The snorkeling here is nothing short of amazing! I saw more species of fish here than I have anywhere else! And we even saw an octopus that was beyond amazing!!!! I tried to get a video, but my phone in a water-safe bag just didn’t do the trick as well as I would have liked!!!! Our video isn’t the best quality, but you can see the really awesome octopus we saw! Thanks to my videographer, Char!
One of the fabulous initiatives at the Hanauma Bay State Park is the request that those who enjoy the park’s gorgeous swimming area adhere to the upcoming Hawai’ian Reef Safe sunscreen law that will take effect January 1st, 2021. Hawai’i is the first state in the US to ban the sale of sunscreens containing the coral-harming chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. With my own reef safe sunscreen in hand, I enjoyed the beautiful snorkeling in this gift from mother nature!!
There are so many ways we can help maintain the glories of this earth and still enjoy them. Using Reef Safe Sunscreen is an easy choice to make. Also, making sure we pack out what we pack in, we didn’t feed the fish (although I wanted to) and we did not step on or remove any coral from this reef. Here are a few more pictures from Hanauma Bay. I look forward to returning here with the rest of my family and enjoy once again the majesty of this gorgeous place!