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Alaska Airlines and The Nature Conservancy Partner to Preserve Hawaii’s Coral Reefs

Partnership encourages travelers to go paperless and supports efforts to remove invasive algae in Kaneohe Bay


HONOLULU, HI  | August 01, 2013

Alaska Airlines and The Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i are teaming up to restore near-shore coral reefs, which provide both recreation and sustenance to Hawaii’s residents and visitors. During the month of August, for every Alaska Airlines mobile application downloaded, the airline will donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, with a minimum contribution of $30,000.

The contribution will support the Conservancy’s work in Kāne‘ohe Bay, on Oʻahu, where two types of invasive algae are smothering the coral reefs. With help from the Hawai'i State Division of Aquatic Resources and University of Hawai'i scientists, a restoration team is using innovative underwater vacuums called “Super Suckers” to clear the invasive seaweed off the reefs, and then seeding the reefs with native sea urchins that feed on the algae and keep it from growing back. Once home to some of the highest numbers and greatest diversity of reef fish and coral on Oʻahu, the bay is under assault from the algae, which forms thick, tangled mats that smother and kill coral. The Conservancy expects to clear the north end of Kāne‘ohe Bay of harmful algae by 2015.

“The Nature Conservancy would like to thank Alaska Airlines for its generous support of our work to free Kāne‘ohe Bay from the chokehold of invasive algae,” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawaiʻi executive director. “They have an exemplary record as good stewards of the environment.”

Along with protecting Hawaii’s coral reefs, the partnership also aims to make Alaska Airlines a greener airline by encouraging customers to use Alaska’s mobile app instead of printing paper boarding passes. The vast majority of airports Alaska Airlines serves are equipped to accept electronic boarding passes. Customers can learn more and download Alaska Airlines’ apps for the iPhone and Android devices at www.alaskaair.com/mobile.

“Our commitment to Hawaiʻi goes far beyond flying airplanes to and from the West Coast,” said Brad Tilden, president and CEO of Alaska Airlines. “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 Kāne‘ohe Bay and protect the state’s environment benefits future generations of residents and visitors alike.”

Alaska Airlines has been a strong supporter of The Nature Conservancy for 24 years and has been a member of the Hawaiʻi chapter’s Corporate Council for the Environment since 2011. The council is a statewide group of business leaders who recognize the vital link between Hawaii’s environment and its economy.

The carrier has made significant strides in reducing its impact on the environment in recent years. Last week, Alaska Airlines became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaiʻi BioEnergy LLC to purchase sustainable biofuel for its Hawaiʻi flights. Learn more about the announcement at http://bit.ly/16iA9o6.

Editor’s Note: An image of Alaska Airlines’ electronic boarding pass can be downloaded from the carrier’s online image gallery at http://splash.alaskasworld.com/newsroom/ASNews/photos.asp.

About Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines offers 22 roundtrip flights a day to Hawaii’s four major islands from Anchorage and seven West Coast cities, making Hawaiʻi its second most-served state after California. Together with its partner regional airlines, Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
 


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.

Contact information

Grady Timmons
Director of Communications
(808) 587-6237
(808) 545-2019
gtimmons@tnc.org

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