Hawaii students mark Honolulu's streets to raise awareness about climate change

Updated: Apr. 21, 2018 at 11:59 AM HST
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(Image: Blue Planet Foundation)
(Image: Blue Planet Foundation)
(Image: Blue Planet Foundation)
(Image: Blue Planet Foundation)

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - State and community leaders, along with hundreds of Hawaii students, grabbed boxes of chalk and hit the streets on Saturday to raise awareness about climate change.

Around 10 a.m. on Saturday Gov. David Ige, community leaders, and students from 40 schools across the state drew blue lines in chalk to mark sea level rises at 15 different locations in Hawaii.The event was part of the Blue Line Project, an environmental initiative that raises awareness about the negative impacts of climate change.

The event was hosted by the Blue Planet Foundation, a community group that focuses on raising awareness around sustainability, climate change and clean energy efforts in Hawaii.

"The blue line that students chalk today won't last long. But the impression it leaves will be indelible," said Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation, in a news release. "We are a force of nature. The actions we take today will literally shape our coastline tomorrow."

The project is meant to highlight the Aloha State's vulnerability to sea level rises due to its location in the Pacific Ocean. The lines drawn around the state were representative of data gathered by the Hawaii Climate Commission.

According to Blue Planet Foundation recent studies suggest that, in a current student's lifetime, Hawaii's sea-level could rise by a meter.

Coastal areas of every island are especially vulnerable to future rises in sea levels. Residents in these areas could face the permanent displacement of homes, businesses, and other community centers.

"The coast is moving and the Blue Line Project helps us think about how we as an island move with it," said Josh Stanbro, executive director of the City's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. "If we don't pay attention now, we will pay in dollars and public safety later."

Several community organizations participated in the chalking event including the Surfrider Foundation, Malama Maunalua and the Kihei Business Association, among others.

"The only way we're going to solve this is to get everyone involved," said Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. "Ultimately, what the Blue Line Project does is provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in finding the solutions for these very difficult questions in a very inspiring and hopeful way."

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