A letter to the editor from Isaac Moriwake, Managing Attorney, Mid-Pacific Office, Earthjustice
The Hawaiian Islands are home to plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, and to Native Hawaiian communities who continue to honor their traditional ways of life.
Located in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, the Mid-Pacific regional office works on a range of environmental and community health issues. In 2018, we celebrated, alongside clients and partners, three decades of fighting to defend what makes Hawaiʻi special. Take a look back at just a few of the Mid-Pacific office's accomplishments:
Highlights of our ongoing work include:
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, 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 genetically engineered foods and the increased use of dangerous pesticides.
Contact Mid-Pacific Office
850 Richards St., Ste. 400
Honolulu, HI 96813
Isaac Moriwake Managing Attorney
Janice Brown Senior Legal Practice Administrator
Mahesh Cleveland Associate Attorney
David Henkin Staff Attorney
Leinā‘ala Ley Senior Associate Attorney
Julie Parks Litigation Assistant II
Kapua Sproat Counsel
Kylie Wager Cruz Senior Associate Attorney