New Hawaii Ocean Health Index Finds Hawaii’s Beaches Are Eroding
New Tool Will Be Used to Develop Future Sustainability Initiatives
KO OLINA, Hawaii (June 8, 2018) – Today, at the 2nd Annual World Oceans Day Celebration in Ko Olina, Hawaii, Conservation International and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the Ocean Health Index score for Hawaii. The Index scored the Main Hawaiian Islands at 74 out of possible 100, citing loss and degradation of beaches, coral reefs, and coastal wetlands.
Called the “Fitbit for oceans,” the Ocean Health Index was created by Conservation International and is used to assess ocean health on the local and regional scale. This is the first time a score has been indexed for Hawaii. The full report can be found here.
The Ocean Health Index, says Eva Schemmel, science adviser for Conservation International Hawaii, is not simply to keep score of ocean health, but rather to inform policy for better management of Hawaii’s natural resources.
“The Ocean Health Index allows us to assess the benefits that current policies and management actions are having to protect our oceans and coastal environments, highlighting effective interventions. The Hawaii Ocean Health Index will be repeated into the future to track sustainability initatives and local management actions to ensure a healthy future for future generations,” said Eva Schemmel, science adviser for Conservation International Hawaii.
“Maintaining a healthy ocean is absolutely critical for sustaining the needs and livelihoods of our island communities. An integrated assessment of our ocean ecosystems, such as the Ocean Health Index, is key to tracking changes in ocean health and devising management strategies that promote sustainable use of the environment,” said Dr. Jamison Gove National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.
The Hawaii Ocean Health Index is part of the Aloha+ Challenge, Hawaii’s statewide commitment to achieve six integrated sustainability goals by 2030 for clean energy, local food, natural resource management, solid waste, smart sustainable communities, and green education and workforce. It will be used to track progress towards achieving these sustainability goals and provides an all-encompassing indicator that can be referred to for policy development.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About the Ocean Health Index
The Ocean Health Index is a partnership between the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International. Every year since 2012, the Ocean Health Index team has tracked change in global ocean health for 220 coastal nations and territories. The team has also helped foster a growing network of independent groups around the world that are using our science to measure how healthy their own oceans are. To learn more about the global Ocean Health Index visit www.oceanhealthindex.org.