Kahaluʻu Bay is Hawaiʻi's second Mission Blue 'Hope Spot,' critical to ocean health
International marine conservation group Mission Blue has named Kahalu‘u Bay on the Kona Coast a "Hope Spot."
Mission Blue defines Hope Spots as special places that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean.
The bay is the 141st Hope Spot worldwide and the second Hope Spot in Hawai‘i. Maui’s Olowalu Reef was the first.
Famed marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle is the founder of Mission Blue. She says Kahalu‘u Bay has become “a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for the community.”
The Hawaiʻi Island bay and its surrounding waters are home to several endangered and threatened species, such as Hawaiian monk seals, humpback whales, and turtles.
It is also a critical habitat for hundreds of fish and invertebrate species, a quarter of which are native to the islands.
“We were taught that taking care of the ʻāina, the land and sea, is your survival. It’s second nature for me to look at what gives us life," said Cindi Punihaole, director of The Kohala Center’s Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center.
Punihaole and Dr. Christine Zalewski, president of Dear Ocean, were named the "Hope Spot Champions."