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Regional Office

Mid-Pacific

Taro fields on Kaua'i. (Steve Heap / Shutterstock)
The Hawaiian Islands are an evolutionary and cultural wonder. The Mid-Pacific regional office is fighting habitat destruction, overfishing and harmful sonar use, while also helping Hawaiʻi’s leading solar industry shine through.

Signature Work

Plants and animals found nowhere else in the world call the tropical paradise of the Hawaiian Islands home, and Native Hawaiian communities still honor their traditional practices.

Founded in 1988, the Mid-Pacific regional office, located in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, works on a range of environmental and community health issues, including:

  • Ensuring water is a public trust, not private property. Companies from Hawaiʻi’s plantation past are diverting public water for private profit, draining rivers and streams dry. The Mid-Pacific regional office has fought for decades to restore stream flows on behalf of local and Native Hawaiian communities. As a result, we have established widely renowned precedent that water is a public trust, not private property—a tool we continue to use in our ongoing campaign to uphold public and Native Hawaiian rights to flowing water.
  • Achieving a clean energy future. Clean energy, particularly rooftop solar, has boomed in Hawaiʻi, thanks to the leading advocacy of the Mid-Pacific regional office. We are removing technical and policy barriers to clean energy adoption, boosting the market through innovative incentive and financing programs, and promoting the shift from the antiquated electric utility grid to the modern, clean energy model of the future.
  • Protecting Pacific wildlife and ecosystems. Hawaiʻi is known as the endangered species capital of the world, and the Mid-Pacific office has been at the forefront for decades in securing protections for native wildlife and habitats. We are working to save native birds and forests from destructive alien species and human activities, reduce the longline fishing industry’s toll on marine mammals, turtles, and seabirds, challenge the military use of sonar that can kill whales and dolphins, and protect the health of nearshore reef ecosystems from aquarium fish extraction and pollution.
  • Safeguarding public health. Hawaiʻi is a global hotspot for production of, and experiments with, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but the Mid-Pacific office has led the way in challenging the release and commercialization of GMOs and the impacts on our food supply, health, environment, and public right-to-know. We are pushing for better regulation of genetically engineered crops and also using the law, public advocacy, and community organizing to highlight the links between GE foods and the increased use of dangerous pesticides.


Recent News from the Mid-Pacific Office:

Map of Earthjustice offices.

Contact Mid-Pacific Office

850 Richards St., Ste. 400
Honolulu, HI  96813
(808) 599-2436
mpoffice@earthjustice.org

Staff

Paul Achitoff Managing Attorney

Janice Brown Office Manager

David Henkin Staff Attorney

Summer Kupau-Odo Associate Attorney

Isaac Moriwake Staff Attorney

Julie Parks Litigation Assistant

Kapua Sproat Counsel

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Regional Office: Spotlight Features

Restore Stream Flow

Water in Hawaiʻi is a public trust resource, protected under the state Constitution and Water Code. Plantations diverted many Hawaiian streams to water sugar cane and pineapple fields, drying out and destroying the native life and Hawaiian communities connected with those streams. Now that plantations are in decline, the water can be restored to the native streams.

Grand Canyon Of The Pacific Running Dry

Native Hawaiians living on the rural southwestern shore of Kauaʻi—home of Waimea Canyon, "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific"—are witnessing the biggest water grab in the history of their island. Now they're fighting to put a stop to it, by petitioning the state with the help of Earthjustice.

Makua: The Stolen, Sacred Land

Attorney David Henkin has been working for almost two decades to end live-fire training operations at the Mākua Military Reservation on Oʻahu. A culturally and ecologically important area, Mākua is home to scores of ancient Hawaiian artifacts, cultural sites and nearly 50 endangered plants and animals.

Protecting False Killer Whales in Hawai'i

The false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) of Hawaiʻi are in trouble. And humans are to blame. The whales, which are actually large dolphins, have suffered unsustainable levels of death and serious injury in the Hawaiʻi-based longline fisheries.

Engineering An Environmental Disaster

Our supermarkets are awash in genetically modified foods. Biotech companies have dominated dinner tables with crops modified to survive lethal doses of herbicides, resulting in increased herbicide use, a surge in herbicide-resistant weeds, and the contamination of organic and conventional crops.