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MidWeek Staff

Making Conservation Easier For Everyone

By Lihla Noori, Executive Director, Hawaii Conservation Alliance

Hawaii Conservation Alliance (HCA) has been helping lead conservation efforts throughout Hawaii since 1988. Today, we are a collaboration of 24 conservation leaders representing government, cultural, educational and nonprofit organizations from across the state.

We are responsible for safeguarding the biodiversity of Hawaii’s ocean, land and streams. Our members live and work in Hawaii and represent the people and communities who depend on healthy land and water for social, cultural, and agricultural well-being.

Collectively, HCA’s members help manage more than 80 percent of Hawaii’s land and ocean areas. In addition, more than 1,200 individuals from around the world participate in HCA’s annual Conservation Conference. In fact, we are hosting our 22nd conference July 15-17 at the Hawaii Convention Center, themed Navigating Change in the Pacific Islands.

One of the key challenges Hawaii’s conservation community faces is limited capacity and resources. In response, HCA launched ConservationConnections.org, a key initiative to increase support for conservation work across the state. This free web tool is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for opportunities to volunteer, intern, research or donate to the stewardship of land, ocean and cultural sites.

Another key driver for developing ConservationConnections.org is to help stewardship organizations connect with people and other groups who want to support their cause.

The tool will help organizations raise awareness of their work in conservation — be it protection, restoration or education. By sharing the story of their work on ConservationConnections.org, they can connect with people who want to help support their efforts.

ConservationConnections.org currently allows users to:

* Search for conservation areas throughout Hawaii, using a variety of search criteria such as name and location. In the tool, these “areas” are called “Stewardship Sites.”

* Search by type of conservation activities, such as invasive species removal, planting natives, nature walks/eco-tours, monitoring/surveying and restoration.

* Learn about upcoming volunteer events and/or community activities.

* Seek research opportunities and internships.

The site also will allow users to make online donations directly to nonprofits and enable site managers to manage their volunteers.

For more information, visit ConservationConnections.org.

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