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Reef Revival: A Campaign to Restore Kāne‘ohe Bay
Alaska Airlines and The Nature Conservancy are partnering to protect Hawaii’s environment.
Download Alaska Airlines’ mobile boarding app during the month of August and the airline will donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi—money that will be used to remove invasive algae and restore the coral reefs of Oahu’s Kāneʻohe Bay.
The partnership also aims to make Alaska Airlines a greener airline by encouraging customers to use Alaska’s mobile application instead of printing paper boarding passes.
“The Nature Conservancy would like to thank Alaska Airlines for its generous support of our work to free Kāneʻohe Bay from the chokehold of invasive algae,” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawai'i Executive Director. “They are an invaluable partner with an exemplary record of being good stewards of the environment.”
(Watch a video and learn more about what the Conservancy is doing in Kāneʻohe Bay.)
Coral reefs help create sand and surf, buffer coastal communities against storms and natural disasters, and provide habitat for healthy fisheries. Kāneʻohe Bay was once home to some of the highest numbers and greatest diversity of reef fish and coral on Oʻahu, but today the bay is today under assault from two aggressive strains of invasive algae. These algae form thick, tangled mats that smother and kill coral, destroying what should be a healthy, vibrant reef environment.
The good news is that the Conservancy is working with the State and the University of Hawaiʻi to fix the bay. Scientists are using underwater vacuums called “Super Suckers” to clean the reefs of invasive algae, and then seeding the reefs with native sea urchins that eat the algae and keep it from growing back. The Conservancy anticipates clearing the entire north end of the bay of invasive algae by 2015.
Alaska Airlines, which began service to Hawaiʻi in 2007, ranks No. 1 in fuel efficiency among all major domestic U.S. carriers, having reduced its fossil fuel consumption over the past decade by 30%. In 2011, the airline launched the first multiple commercial flights in the U.S. powered by aviation biofuel, and last week it became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy LLC to purchase 10 million gallons of biofuel for its Hawai'i flights.
Alaska’s recycling program, meanwhile, diverts more than 800 tons of paper, cardboard, cans, glass and plastic from landfills each year.
Since 2011, Alaska Airlines has supported The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi as a member of its Corporate Council for the Environment, giving at the top level in 2013 with a donation of $20,000. The council is a statewide group of business leaders who recognize the vital link between Hawaii's environment and its economy.
“Our commitment to Hawaiʻi goes far beyond flying airplanes to and from the West Coast,” said President and CEO Brad Tilden. “We understand the contribution Hawaii’s environment makes to its economy and quality of life. That’s why we are proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy. Their work to restore Kāneʻohe Bay and protect the state’s environment benefits future generations of residents and visitors alike."
Between August 1 and August 31, Alaska Airlines will pay $1 to The Nature Conservancy's Kāneʻohe Bay Reef Revival project for every Alaska Airlines mobile app that is downloaded. A minimum of $30,000 will be contributed.
August 13, 2013