10 Years of Ocean Protection: Stories & Photos

Images that Inspire Conservation-Bringing the Place to the People

One of the defining acts for protection of the northern most part of the Hawaiian Archipelago, collectively known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, was the establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, by President Bill Clinton on December 4, 2000. That action created a guiding principle and philosophy that managers and policy-makers from the federal and state co-management agencies adhered to then and continue to do so now: Bring the place to the people, not the people to the place.

A primary way of doing this is by sharing images and video from Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument on the monument website, in public forums and through specialized and general media.

On Oct. 13, 2010 Monument Deputy Superintendent and Chief Scientist Dr. Randy Kosaki and underwater photographer Wayne Levin presented a program titled: “Images that Inspire Conservation: Bringing the Place to the People.”

Hosted by the Waikiki Aquarium, the audience learned about the long history of image-making in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands beginning with early day artists who often drew photo-quality images of fishes and other species. The advent of photography and subsequently motion picture film, video and digital photography opened up the pristine waters and land features of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to new and broad audiences the world over. Over the past decade and before, world-renowned photographers, film-makers and videographers have journeyed into Papahanaumokuakea to produce works that truly have inspired conservation. The latest is Hawai‘i-based photographer Wayne Levin who shot thousands of color and black and white images during a 2009 research cruise to the region. Many of his images have been on display in public venues and many will be included in the coffee table book Papahanaumokuakea scheduled to be published in mid-2011.