Council Member Profiles
Reserve Advisory Council member profile
2001 – present
"Knowledgeable and dedicated citizen advisory councils are critical for marine resource protection. "
– Linda Paul, Vice-Chair
Q: What drew you to participate in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council?
A: I have been professionally engaged with the NWHI from my first research cruise to the region in 1974. Since that time, I have worked in many national and international marine conservation and fisheries management boards, advisory councils, advocacy groups, and other related entities. Becoming a member of the RAC allowed me to continue my advocacy for this special region and to help guide its management and protection.
Q: What are your personal thoughts on the place and why it deserves such dedicated protection?
A: The NWHI archipelago is one of the last unspoiled places left on earth with some of the healthiest and most undisturbed coral reefs & atolls remaining on the planet. When I first set foot on Laysan Island back in 1974 it was like going back two million years in time.
Q: What do you see as the Reserve Advisory Council’s greatest achievement during the time you have been directly involved?
A: Beginning in 2001, the RAC identified management strategies, established working subcommittees, made recommendations for the Reserve Operations Plan, protection and conservation measures, research plans, ecosystem monitoring, data collection, permitting and reporting systems, enforcement measures, education and outreach plans and the goals and objectives for a NWHI national marine sanctuary, which is mandated by Executive Order 13178. In 2006 that work product formed the basis for the Monument Management Plan.
Q: As a member of the council, what is one of your most memorable experiences?
A: Working with some extraordinary, dedicated & knowledgeable conservationists.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the council and/or monument today?
A: The biggest challenge is to extend marine monument and sanctuary protection to the entire submarine volcano between Nihoa and Niʻihau.
Q: Why should people care about protecting the monument?
A: I believe that preservation of the nearly untouched marine resources of the NWHI will prove critical to the restoration of coral reefs around the planet that have been destroyed by coral bleaching, acidification and pollution.
Linda Paul is an environmental attorney and president of the Hawaiʻi Audubon Society.