In an intimate ceremony this afternoon at the Washington Canoe Club, White House Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli visited Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe and presented a “message in a bottle” from Secretary of State John Kerry. Hōkūleʻa is set to deliver this message on June 8, 2016 to the United Nations for World Oceans Day. The message addresses the Our Ocean conference hosted by Secretary of State Kerry scheduled for September of this year.
“The oceans provide the air we breathe, the food that we eat, regulate our weather, and touch everybody, even people who are not physically located next to the ocean. So all of us have to care about the health of the oceans and its future,” said Under Secretary Novelli.
The event was also attended by Andrew Soles, president of the Washington Canoe Club, Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society president, Hōkūleʻa crew and invited members of the diplomatic community from countries including Chile, Micronesia, New Zealand and Fiji. Soles welcomed the event’s guests to the canoe club, and Thompson delivered brief remarks about Hōkūleʻa’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
“The United States has a message, and it’s coming from the highest levels. It’s about understanding that the oceans count, and that we need to take actions to be responsible. Today is a demonstration of that. We take it to the United Nations as a collection with all the other obligations and declarations that essentially allows the magic of this canoe to carry a global message,” said Thompson.
After the ceremony, the Hōkūleʻa crew provided tours of the canoe and discussed traditional navigational methods with the attendees.
More than Adventure
Beyond a daring expedition, the Worldwide Voyage is quite possibly the most important mission that Hawaiʻi has ever attempted. As people of Oceania, we are leading a campaign that gives voice to our ocean and planet by highlighting innovative solutions practiced by cultures around the planet.
We could not have begun this great journey without your support, nor can we continue to its completion.