There are Ocean Guardians working hard year-round protecting Maui’s coastlines and beaches, this gala event is our way to celebrate and honor them, get the ocean-loving community together, and raise funds to continue the mission of Surfrider.
Thank you for joining us in honoring leaders in environmental protection at Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter’s 3rd Annual Ocean Guardian Awards Gala on Oct. 27 at Andaz Maui, Presented by the Severson ʻOhana. The annual fundraiser party is a celebration of Surfrider Maui’s volunteers and supporters and the year’s accomplishments.
Mahalo to our title sponsor The Severson ʻOhana for presenting our event this year, and to Tavana for playing an amazing show.
2018 Awards Presented To:
· John Severson Ocean Athlete Award: Zane Kekoa Schweitzer – Sup Surf World Champion and Ultimate Waterman World Champion Zane Kekoa Schweitzer has dedicated his life to giving back to the environment and the community. He is a co-founder of the Standup for the Cure, which has raised over $1.2 million for cancer research and to assist uninsured cancer patients. He also founded InZane Super Groms, which introduces Maui youth to what being a waterman and an eco-ambassador is all about. He also founded the Westin Waterman Program, and is a global ambassador for Parley for the Ocean, Sustainable Surf, and 5 Gyres. He has participated in beach cleanup and citizen science programs all over the world. He also authored two top-selling books, “Beneath The Surface” and “The Blue Life Journal.”
· Community Member Award: Donna Brown – A marine biology professor at University of Hawai‘i’s Maui Campus, Donna Brown teaches students about conservation, issues affecting our oceans, and respect and love for the ocean. She motivates others to pursue careers that protect, conserve and monitor our oceans, reefs and ecosystem. She was instrumental in setting up Surfrider Maui’s Blue Water Task Force, organizing her students and using her expertise to gather samples and run water tests. She is the co-coordinator of REEF – teams of people who protect and safeguard the reef system in Maui. She helped develop methodology to count the fish in the ocean around Maui. Now this process has been expanded around the world to help understand how the fish populations have changed. Brown recently led a group in Fiji to count fish there. She is also involved with the QUEST (Quantitative-Underwater-Ecological-Surveying-Techniques) Class every year in Hawai‘i, which provides hands on training for research divers to manage, preserve the ocean environment.
· Business Award: Hawaiian Paddle Sports – With the ocean as its office, Hawaiian Paddle Sports takes pride in caring for Maui’s environment, community and island culture. The company provides authentic sustainable eco-tours that encourage guests to discover a deeper appreciation of and connection to Hawai‘i’s marine environment, turning them into environmental stewards at home and in their travels. Since 2010, Hawaiian Paddle Sports has organized a “Mālama Maui” give back program, where they donate each month to a local nonprofit organization and employees volunteer for service projects – ranging from restoring native habitats to organizing beach cleanups to taking underprivileged youth out in the ocean. In 2017 alone, Hawaiian Paddle Sports employees logged 664 volunteer hours and raised $32,886 to support local organizations. Hawaiian Paddle Sports was Maui’s first Certified B Corporation, is a member of 1% for the Planet, and a certified sustainable tour operator by the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association.
Special thanks to our additional table sponsors!
Hawaiian Paddle Sports
Hawaii Mermaid Adventures
And additional event support and sponsorship from:
Third Day Nursery
Haliimaile Distilling Co.
Maui Brew Co.
Hawaii Flora and Fauna