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Hawaii Tourism Authority Awarding $3.5 Million to Support 124 Hawaiian Culture, Natural Resources and Community Programs in 2018

In keeping with its commitment to foster sustainable tourism in the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is providing funding of more than $3.5 million to 124 programs that are perpetuating Hawaiian culture, protecting natural resources and showcasing community events in 2018.Recipients of the funding are nonprofit groups, community organizations and individuals statewide who have demonstrated through proposals submitted to HTA their dedication to strengthen the enduring qualities of Hawaii’s legacy that distinguish the islands as a place to live and visit.

“Sustainable tourism starts at the community level and that’s the focus of our support for initiatives by groups and individuals who have pledged to make Hawaii a better place for future generations,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Collectively, these community-based programs will help manage tourism’s impacts by preserving the quality of life we treasure as residents through culture, the environment and the sharing of festivals and events ingrained in the traditions of Hawaii’s people.”

Funding is being provided to recipients on all islands for usage in 2018 as part of three HTA program categories: Kukulu Ola, Aloha Aina and Community Enrichment. HTA issued a request for proposals on June 21 with submittals from qualified applicants received by August 4.

  • A total of $1,240,000 is being awarded to 33 recipients that are perpetuating Hawaiian culture through HTA’s Kukulu Ola program. Awardees include community groups, practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists committed to strengthening a broader understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian culture through place-based activity engagement. Founded on the value of ma ka hana ka ike (in working one learns), the Kukulu Ola program assists recipients steeped in ike Hawaii to share within communities the Hawaiian values inherent in each respective practice.
  • A total of $1,150,000 is being awarded to 26 recipients that are helping to protect Hawaii’s natural resources through HTA’s Aloha Aina program. Focused on the lasting value of stewardship by responsible community-based entities that emphasize aina-kanaka relationships and knowledge, the Aloha Aina program supports efforts to manage, conserve and revitalize Hawaii’s natural resources and environment.
  • A total of $1,153,300 is being awarded to 65 recipients through HTA’s Community Enrichment program, which supports quality experiences created by communities to be shared with residents and visitors for their enjoyment. The Community Enrichment program invests in a diverse array of festivals, events and year-round programs in support of culture, education, health and wellness, nature, agriculture, sports, technology and voluntourism.

Click here for the listing of awardees receiving funding from HTA.

HTA Grant Enables Restoration of 3 Anchialine Pools Within Kekaha Kai State Park

Volunteers are invited to participate in a community workday and free fun activities to help restore the natural ecosystem of three anchialine pools in the Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park on Saturday, July 29. A beach cleanup is also part of the day’s events.

Showing two photographs of the current condition of the pool that is location of restoration work on Saturday, as well as a photograph of what the pool looked like in the 1990s before the tsunami.

The restoration project will involve removing the non-native plant and fish species, built-up sediment, and sand that was deposited as a result of the 2011 tsunami in a portion of the large pool/fishpond located at Ka‘elehuluhulu Beach in the Mahai‘ula section of the park.

The day will feature the first on-site work that has taken place as part of the anchialine pool restoration project made possible by an HTA grant. The work day represents the culmination of two years of planning and preparation for this project

Its purpose is to restore the anchialine pool ecosystems so that the native red shrimp (‘opae‘ula) can return to the anchialine pools. Guppies and sediment are currently preventing the opae’ula from living in the pools.

The DLNR Division of State Parks was awarded a $10,000 grant by the HTA Natural Resources Program grant that is administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the restoration project. Grant money will also be used to develop educational materials related to the anchialine pools so that they can be used to teach school groups about the pools while on field trips to the park.

Future community work days like the one on Saturday will be scheduled.  Division of State Parks also plans to partner with a few local schools to teach students about anchialine pools and get them involved in the restoration efforts

Schedule for the day and directions:

  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – sign-in with morning coffee courtesy Kona Coffee and Tea
  • 8 to 9 a.m. – morning beach yoga with Alyssa from Soul Shape Yoga
  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – anchialine pool restoration work
  • 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. – potluck lunch – bring a dish to share
  • 12:30 to 3 p.m. – beach cleanup with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Slackline fun with Jesse from SlackHi

Directions: take the road to Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to the parking lot at the very end of the road. Bring water and reef-safe sunscreen. Gloves and equipment will be provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle, potluck dish and beach chair.

Mahalo for support from:  Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, Soul Shape Yoga, Hawai‘i Kombucha, Kona Coffee & Tea, and Slackline fun.

For more information call Dena Sedar, Division of State Parks at (808) 209-0977.

HTA Now HiTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority)

The recently formed Hawaii Tourism Association has changed its acronym to reduce confusion with another HTA, the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Effective Wednesday, the Hawaii Tourism Association will use the acronym HiTA…

More here