Pake Salmon

Seeing my nephew suffer through cancer broke my heart but activated me to help educate and empower my community.

Profession: Photographer/Videographer
Group Affiliation: Pacific American Foundation

Clean Air Ambassador:

Chaunnel "Pake" Salmon

Makaha, Hawaii

Last year, my 6-year-old nephew was diagnosed with cancer. He lives fewer than two miles from an electric power plant. This is when clean air quality became a personal issue for me here in Hawaii. Seeing my nephew suffer through cancer broke my heart but activated me to help educate and empower my community to learn of these issues so we can make our own choices in what we consume.

Since childhood, I always was concerned about our natural resources, as well as air and ocean quality issues. I was taught through my elders and saw for myself how human beings were destroying our sacred places and natural resources. I was also taught to stand up to protect our precious resources for future generations. Living on an island, we have had to learn how to sustain ourselves through cultivation of crops and fishing/fish farming practices like the early Hawaiians taught us. If we continue to pollute the earth and sea, we destroy ourselves.

My community of Waianae is carrying a very heavy burden because of poor air quality, and native Hawaiians are affected the most. We absorb 50 percent of the state's air pollution and toxics and we have the highest rates of asthma. 

I believe most of the air pollution within our community comes primarily from background dust, vog (volcanic smog), and traffic detritus. Of the three, the only one easily addressed by government would be the air pollution caused by traffic within a community. That translates to vehicles which either burn cleaner fuel or an alternative non-petroleum based fuel.

Unfortunately, this effort would take a long time to implement. For many in our lower income communities, vehicles are kept for many years on the roads. To reduce the time frame to implement increasing vehicles with cleaner burning fuels, perhaps incentives could be given for turning in a higher polluting vehicle for the purchase of a lower air polluting vehicle. And don't forget the large trucks that are major carriers of large loads. While diesel may be more economical, these trucks are significant contributors to the problem.

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

Thank you for doing this.
A young person


You are an awesome, perfect ambassador of our community and state of Hawaii to the politicians of D.C. and sharing, demanding that something be done to protect the land and ocean in harmony with our own keiki, the future generations. So sad to hear of your nephew and pray he is doing well. God Bless you in your journeys. Please know, I'm just a phone call away and would be honored to help in any way.
A Hui Hou, VN

Rock on sister!


You are an awesome ambassador for your community. I know you will do a fantastic job of sharing your personal story, the stories of those who live around you, and as a result bring more attention to the important issues in Hawaii.

Please keep us all updated on what you learn, and more importantly, what OTHERS learn from you.


I am so proud of you Pake! You go girlfriend! You've done your homework, you have the passion for your community, you are ready for this. :-)


Aloha Pake,
its great to hear that more individuals are standing up for clean living to save our lives and help earth live. Let us keep up our movement for better living for all the creature on earth!


know our prayers and support are with you! You Go Sistah!


Mahalo:) Stand strong and know you represent us all! The health and well being of our planet and communities depends on individual action...like yours. We have so many options...and you pose potential solutions to move us as a group toward sustainability. Our group here in MO will send letters and make calls to support all of you going to DC next week. Together we can create the change:)

Aloha Pake,
You are standing up for the people.

Mahalo Pake
Please represent Hawaii and the importance of clean air. Too many of our keiki suffer from Asthma.

I support everything that you do. Take care.

Aloha Pake
Thank you for taking on this project , it is truely a very important one. I used to live in Paia, Maui for 17 yrs , exposed to cane smoke, twice a day for ten months out of the year. Add to this Vog in the winter and what you saw, was the little kids in my neighborhood getting respiratory problems all through the year. Almost all children and some of the adults as well, were on several rounds of antibiotics every year. I saw a two yr old girl getting a vicious vaginal yeast infection from all the antibiotics she had been given. This has to stop! The Health Department on Maui told me that our air quality is still the best in the US, since the cane smoke blows away within two hours. Never mind they burn often at 2am and 4am when people still sleep. Four hours of breathing cane smoke for 10 months out of the year - that is not good air quality. That makes people very sick!
Mahalo for stepping up to the challenge,

I support clean air. It is our human right. And also future generations' right.

I have also been disgusted for a long time now how we don't have the vehicle emission regulations here in Hawaii that we need to help save our environment. We need to hold people accountable for the air pollution and it needs to happen now!

The need for more solar energy, wind energy, geothermal and ocean wave energy is apparent.

Lets hold and keep the vision of the implementation of above mentioned energy resources in in our hearts. It will happen on a governmental level, if we as a collective are committed to it. The spirit of Love , Aloha can move mountains!!!!

For too long we felt helpless. The time is over!
We are beautiful and powerful Beings, all of us.Let's hold the positive outcome

Pake thank you for your initiative ,moving in the right direction. Bringing this right for a healthy planet and healthy population to D.C.

With much Aloha and gratitude Anna Handler

Geothermal is an option as are ocean currents and wave action.

I'm sick and tired of the burning of sugar cane here on Maui. Also, Maui Electric burns oil, and HC&S burns coal! This has got to stop. We need more solar power and other alternative renewable energy project support from the government.
Keep up the good work.
Dot Buck

Pake, thanks for going all the way to D.C. to defend the right to breathe!

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