17 June 2022

#AntarcticLog: Advocating on behalf of coral

Posted by Shane Hanlon

#AntarcticLog is a series of comics by Karen Romano Young. You can find the originals here.

Presenting…Cindi Punihaole, the Program Director of ReefTeach, a coral reef advocate — making a public policy difference as well as a personal impact — at Kahalu’u Bay, Mission Blue newest Hope Spot.  Cindi — who has lived and relied on the Bay all her life, has observed the changes taking place there over recent decades, as the sea level has risen, sea temperature and acidity have soared, and the number of tourists visiting the Big Island of Hawaii has skyrocketed. 

Cindi is a model of environmental activism — and credits her upbringing in the aloha spirit — one of optimism, respect, and consideration — and with the principle of observing and stewarding harmony between people, the land, and the sea. 

Here’s a quick flashback to my introduction to this beautiful bay, island, and state. 

I talked to Cindi about her life, her practices in public education, her native Hawaiian understanding of the ecology there, and what she cares about and works at the most. 

Soon I’ll be creating a profile of this amazing woman in my new comics-based project, I Was A Kid. This example comic profiles Dr. Dawn Wright of ESRI, who’s preparing to become the first Black woman to dive to the Challenger Deep. She grew up in Hawaii.  More here

Karen Romano Young is a writer, artist, deep-sea diver, and polar explorer. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram.