In an attempt to reach the larger community and to gain support, partnerships have been made with several organizations including the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific American Foundation.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is one of thirteen national marine sanctuaries found throughout the United States. It is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce and has provided exceptional support toward our efforts. A primary reason for this support is that Ko`ie`ieLoko I`a is located directly in front of the Sanctuary headquarters building and is a part of the Sanctuary’s boundaries. The fishpond’s location provides an exceptional opportunity for the Whale Sanctuary to build upon its education and cultural program.
The Sanctuary also draws in a number of notable visiting dignitaries including representatives from Senator Inouye’s office, Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.) Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator and Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of Jacque Cousteau and others.
Pacific American Foundation has secured a $1.6 million grant to develop primary and secondary school curricula. Project Kahea Loko, a three year statewide curriculum project uses fishponds as a teaching tool for Hawai`i’s Department of Education students. “Working with other fishpond projects and operators, schoolteachers, historians, and Hawaiian language and cultural experts, the Kahea Loko staff are collecting and organizing fishpond-related cultural, historic, and scientific data into appropriate curriculum units for public and immersion schools in Hawai`i. A complete set of curricula for grades 4-12 will be field-tested and meet the academic and performance standards of the Hawai`i Department of Education.” It is imperative that a traditional Hawaiian fishpond be available for the implementation of this curriculum. No other fishpond is accessible to the students of Central, South and West Maui.
Pacific American Foundation was excited to learn of our site and its benefits for teaching their curriculum. If students would be learning about fishponds, then they should also be able to visit an authentic native Hawaiian fishpond. Therefore, they have chosen Ko`ie`ie Loko I`a as the visitation site for Maui’s students in conjunction with learning the curriculum. We estimate a conservative amount of 1,300 students visits our site annually. Funding provided by the Hawai`i Tourism Authority has helped secure this learning experience.
If you are interested in viewing the Kahea Loko curriculum, please visit www.ulukau.org and to learn more about the Pacific American Foundation, visit www.thepaf.org.
All these organizations have added strength toward our effort of revitalizing Ko`ie`ie Loko I`a. It is with these partnerships that we would like to continue to grow and develop a program that will benefit the entire community. We believe in the Hawaiian proverb, `a`ohe hana nui ke alu `ia, meaning no task is too big when done together by all.