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Hawaii nonprofits agree to restore coastal lands

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The Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) announced its 2019 recipients of the Community Restoration Partnership (CRP) grants, totaling more than $1.4 million to fund the protection and restoration of Hawaii’s coastal areas on 5 islands over 3 years. This partnership will benefit the state as a whole and tourism as well, protecting that part of the Aloha State that visitors come to enjoy

The CRP is a unique collaboration of national and international funders, foundations, and private donors who provide resources for on-the-ground lower watershed and coastal restoration projects throughout Hawaii that involve community stewardship activities and focus on durable and sustainable positive impacts on coastal and near-shore marine areas. The CRP funded projects align with the state’s goal for 30% healthy functioning near-shore areas by 2030.

“The CRP-funded projects are a true demonstration of caring for the land,” said Larissa Kick, Senior Program Officer for Community Grants and Investments at HCF. “The CRP funders are helping nonprofits to bring new life to ancient fishponds using traditional practices, restore eroding land with native plants, and remove invasive species that are choking clogged ocean channels.”

Since its inception in 2009, CRP has provided more than $4.7 million in funding to 52 local community organizations statewide, helping to strengthen the ties between cultural and environmental stewardship efforts. When the CRP was started at the Hawaii Community Foundation, it was as an innovative public-private partnership with NOAA’s Restoration Center, supported by the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye. It has now evolved to include 8 local and mainland foundations, private donors, and other partners, and advanced from a one-year grant into a multi-year grant program that also provides capacity building, training, and networking opportunities to nonprofits.

The CRP is a funding partnership including the Atherton Family Foundation, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Jeanne Herbert Fund at HCF, Kamehameha Schools, the Marisla Foundation, Oak Foundation, Traut Carson Fund at HCF, the Weissman Family Foundation at HCF. “When we talk about the health of Hawai‘i—both for our people and places—we recognize that these are very complex restoration efforts that will necessitate comprehensive solutions,” said Eric Co, Senior Program Officer for Ocean Resiliency at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. “Consequently, broad collaboration, shared learning, and collective action will be foundational to our success.”

“It really comes down to this,” Kick added. “Healthy coastal lands are crucial for healthy native plant-life, wildlife, and oceans. We believe it’s important to protect our resources in Hawaii, and we are honored to be part of this partnership with engaged funders, and mission-driven nonprofits. Working toward environmental integrity and sustainability is no small task, so it will require laulima, many hands working together.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.