Elijah Isaac from Waimanalo
conducts water-quality testing.

Elia Hauanio teaching Wai`anae
Gril Scouts the importance of
water-quality testing.

I Ola Na Kai

The Tahiti trip was just one part of a year-long effort. I Ola Na Kai sought to develop environmental stewards from among Hawai‘i's youth to raise awareness of the acute need to care for these precious resources. I Ola Na Kai means "So The Oceans May Live."

After intensive training, 11 high school students from across the state, chosen and supported by their communities, accompanied Donna Kahakui to Tahiti to undertake a series of environmental service projects on several of the Society Islands. Along with an educational team including Dr. Yoshi Sinoto of the Bishop Museum, the students worked with Tahitian high school students and their communities to conduct water-quality testing, stream restoration, archaeology studies, navigation, and cultural exchanges. A total of 30 adults and students journeyed to Tahiti on October 13th and returned October 21st

Following two intensive weekend retreats, students began to present water quality information to their communities. Students and staff then traveled to Tahiti to conduct water-quality testing, stream restoration, marine debris monitoring, other environmental service projects and collected data to share with their communities and schools via satellite e-mail web-link.

Upon return to Hawai‘i, students continued to share the results of their work by delivering presentations within their communities and produced a video documentary. In the spring semester of 2002, each student is responsible for conducting his or her own day-long community environmental project. The project is developed and carried out under Kai Makana.

click on thumbnails to enlarge photo

    An ambitious undertaking for high school students!

During the trip, students e-mailed updates to their schools and communities via a satellite web-link.

Web-link Q&A during trip


Click the map
for our route

Student participants:

  • Lahela Burgess (Hawai‘i)
  • JoAnna Tsuha (Maui)
  • Chantel Ono (Lana‘i)
  • Cherishann Kaiui (Wai‘anae)
  • Elia Hauanio (Wai‘anae)
  • Leah Kanui (Wai‘anae)
  • Kanoe Burgess (Wai‘anae)
  • Keoni Fernandez (Wai‘anae)
  • Rabecca Gabriel (Wai‘anae)
  • Brandon Turk (Manoa)
  • Elijah Issac (Waimanalo)

See more Tahiti photos!


Kai Makana gratefully acknowledges the support of these sponsors:

`Aha Punana Leo Hui Malama O Lana`i Island Paddler Maui Jim
Patagonia Queen Lili`uokalani Children's Center Xcel
Partners for the project include: Roxy Quiksilver, Town & Country, Wai‘anae High School Hawaiian Studies Program, University of Hawai‘i Center for Hawaiian Studies, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Na Pua No‘eau, & ‘Olelo, Ka‘ala Farm.

Email communication is made possible through Bishop Museum’s Educational Partnership with NASA.

Interested?? - contact us:

For inquiries or to make a contribution, please contact us at:
Kai Makana

P.O. Box 22719
Honolulu HI  96823

Kai Makana is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, established in 1997, to provide volunteer, in-kind, and financial support for marine wildlife conservation and education.