As a mother and teacher, chanter and dancer, cultural practitioner and activist, Pua Case is quintessential Storyteller -- and her lessons run deep. She teaches that when you learn about the place where you live, you will always possess a responsibility to care for that place. Raised by her elders in Waimea on Hawai’i Island, she knows intimately of the relationship her people shared with the land and the sea and she has devoted her life to reconnecting people with their sacred traditions. From the summit of Mauna Kea to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, her profound connection to both fuels her passion, shapes her prayers, and ignites her belief that a deeper understanding of ancestral knowledge will restore our natural balance with the environment.
From the first moment Chad Wiggins glimpsed through a mask to the tiny fishes feeding at the feet of his unsuspecting parents, he was hooked on learning everything he could about the world beneath the surface of the sea. Summers spent exploring the coasts, bays, and bayous of Bear Point, Alabama transitioned to a life devoted to marine conservation. Today, he uses his marine science degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to apply scientific research in support of traditional and community-driven marine management and the protection of coral habitats. As a marine scientist, Chad feels blessed to be in a position to make a difference for coral reefs in Hawai‘i and motivated do everything he can to ensure this diverse, yet fragile habitat endures.
When George Fry took the wooden paddle in his hand in 2002 and dipped it into the Hawaiian waters, it was love at first stroke. Trading a busy career as a commercial photographer in California for retirement on the Big Island, George not only adopted a new state, but a new state of mind. He now serves as the leader of the 6am Kapuna Paddling Group of the Kawaihae Canoe Club, a group of about 40 people who greet the sunrise by paddling out to open ocean in six-person outrigger canoes. For many, paddling is their introduction to Hawaii and Hawaiian cultural values; for George, "E lauhoe mai na wa'a" (all paddle together) is not only what it takes to propel the canoe, but also a metaphor for conservation. It's with this ethic in mind that he runs Puako Makai Watch, a group devoted to helping the Department of Natural Resources protect the reef and educate users about ocean awareness, safety, and stewardship.
Any contribution made here will go directly to the I Am Ocean campaign and help ocean communities around the world be heard. Expect your donation to be used first to help purchase the necessary cameras, equipment and software to give to schools and community organizations in our target communities. Next, we will tackle the costs that come with producing high quality video pieces like travel and lodging, equipment rental, editing, and distribution. Please contact us with any questions about your donation or instructions for how you would like to see it used.
Interested in funding an I Am Ocean campaign in your favorite ocean community? We will work with you to empower the members of your community and give them the tools they need to create a unique and memorable video series. We are willing to work anywhere in the world where the ocean plays a part in people's lives. We know that each community is different, so we will work with local schools, non-profits and organization to work efficiently and respectfully to tell their story.