Isaac Moriwake has been named as managing attorney for Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific Office in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, succeeding Paul Achitoff who recently retired.
“When I joined Earthjustice over 16 years ago, I would never have dreamed of one day leading our team in Hawaiʻi,” said Moriwake. “So I can’t even say this is a ‘dream come true.’ It’s been one long wave, and I’m just happy to keep riding it. It is a privilege and kuleana [responsibility] to continue to work with our partner clients and communities to tackle the most pressing environmental and health threats in our region.”
Much of Moriwake’s work has focused on water rights and reversing the history of stream flow diversions by sugar plantations in Hawaiʻi. Moriwake worked on a series of cases reaffirming that water is a public trust for all and restoring flows to rivers and streams on behalf of local and Native Hawaiian communities.
He has also driven Hawaiʻi’s clean energy leadership in shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Hawaiʻi leads the world in rooftop solar adoption and became the first U.S. state to commit to a 100% renewable energy goal in 2015. The state continues to set examples for the rest of the country, rejecting a switch to burning gas for electricity and instead accelerating clean energy solutions like solar and energy storage.
Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific Office recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the years, the office has won many landmark legal victories for Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, from ensuring the U.S. military doesn’t trample on the cultural rights of Native Hawaiians and other Indigenous peoples in the Pacific region, to securing protections for endangered and irreplaceable species in the Hawaiian Islands and strengthening regulations of pesticides that can drift into and poison neighboring communities.
“Isaac Moriwake is a great lawyer who consistently stakes out the leading edge of conservation to protect communities, defend and restore Hawaiʻi’s natural systems, and pioneer clean energy solutions that are lighting the way nationally and globally,” said Abigail Dillen, President of Earthjustice. “No one is better qualified to provide visionary leadership and deliver progress that people can see and feel in Hawaiʻi.”
Moriwake graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi and clerked for Justice Paula A. Nakayama of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaiʻi.
Zoe Woodcraft, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2071