Diver attaching Mooring

Ocean Warriors

Ocean Warriors is an experiential youth program developed to engage local K-12 students in coastal stewardship and protection. The Ocean Warriors program is weaving together culture, science, service learning, youth mentorship, and community involvement in a way that is both fun and relevant.
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Ocean Warriors

Concern + Knowledge + Teamwork = Positive Change

Ocean Warriors is specifically designed to:

  • Provide experiential outdoor learning opportunities for North Kohala middle school students;
  • Combine environmental education with leadership, service learning, and strong mentorship experiences; and
  • Empower and inspire students to become involved in coastal stewardship and protection through place-based learning and service projects.

We care. We learn more.
We work with others to take action. 
We are Ocean Warriors!

Ocean Warriors activities include a summer Ocean Camp, after-school field trips each week, weekend activities such as camping trips, service learning projects, and offshore "floating classroom" boat trips. The primary focus of the program is for middle school students in Kohala to develop an intimate connection to Kohala’s coastline, understand its environmental characteristics and processes, know its history, and lead the way in stewardship activities.

Students are offered opportunities that enable them to gain perspective on coastal and community issues, and apply their new insights to real life places and situations. This year, the students have been learning about social and environmental topics related to watersheds and open space protection. After learning important science and cultural lessons and about community-wide goals for the coast, students are now applying their knowledge directly to Kauhola Point. Recently, students learned about the history of the area from local kupuna, who shared Aunty Marie Solomon’s oral history of the area with them. From these experiences and careful observation of the area, students drafted a practice management plan in order to think through all of the issues that come up in caring for coastal lands and waters.

In OW, students are challenged to think beyond their current perspectives, use new technologies and information, and to stretch their physical comfort zones through hiking, swimming, and healthy eating. They are offered opportunities to get involved at community meetings and events by sharing their environmental projects and information. This expands their awareness of what they have to offer and how to get involved. These activities naturally instill confidence, as well as allow students to embody the solutions they discover for sustainability, resilience, and community action.

Malama Kai Foundation is working on a project specifically aimed at encouraging community stewardship of coastal areas in North Kohala. Student involvement is a priority aspect of this effort. Malama Kai Foundation guides the science portion of OW and is coordinating and leading the effort to incorporate students in these important ongoing coastal protection and management efforts.

The OW program was developed by Elizabeth Pickett, who says,

Nurturing a sense of kuleana (responsibility) in local youth to malama (meaning "to care for, respect") local landscapes secures the future of our special places, island-wide. Our goal is for our youth to be inspired to make a difference, and for them to have the tools, education, and confidence to do so.

The Ocean Warriors staff and the Malama Kai Foundation wish to thank the many community partners who have continuously supported and guided the program:

Ocean Warriors is open to middle school students in Kohala, 6th-8th grade. High students are invited to participate as junior leaders. For more information about Ocean Warriors or stewardship activities at Kauhola Point, contact Elizabeth Pickett through Malama Kai Foundation.

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