The goal of Reef Watch Waikiki is to share knowledge, promote proper reef etiquette, provide fun and informative educational programs, and gather data on the health of Māmala Bay. Our mission is:
To inspire and facilitate community stewardship of Waikiki
Reef Watch Waikiki is a project of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program’s Waikiki Ecosystem Restoration Project within the Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism. We train community members to gather valuable data regarding the use and condition of near shore resources and share their knowledge of Waikiki’s natural history with visitors and kama'aina. These activities are supported by grants and the hard work of dedicated community volunteers. We also partner with businesses and civic organizations who share our passion for the ocean.
What distinguishes us from organizations with similar goals is our methodology. Our mission is fulfilled largely through the efforts of volunteers who interact directly with people on the beach, in classrooms, and at community events. Emphasizing volunteer participation is important to maintaining the educational aspect of our program. We are not the beach police; our volunteers strive to share what they know and encourage good reef etiquette and ocean stewardship.
Oahu’s marine resources are a significant attraction for visitors who travel here from all over the globe, eager to explore our island home. While organizations like the Coral Reef Alliance have documented that tourists are increasingly interested in learning about the natural environments they visit, most visitors remain unaware of their potential impact on the places they explore. Our goal is to help people understand how to minimize their footprint and help to actively steward the natural areas they are drawn to.
Maintaining the health of our marine resources is of benefit to Oahu’s visitors and residents alike. We all need to be aware of, and honor, the protections put in place for the preservation of these resources. Yet despite laws banning littering, our beaches and ocean are often treated as ashtrays and dump sites. There are many reasons for this, but the message is clear: something has to be done. This is where you can help.