The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is dedicated to saving the ‘Art of the Sea’ through education, ocean conservation, and propagation of the highly endangered Seahorses and Sea Dragons. Our mission is to maintain a living gene bank of all 36 species of Seahorses, and both species of Sea Dragons for breeding, display, and release back into their protected natural habitat through the ‘Adopt a Seahorse Program’. This program is designed to be a viable example of how to help eliminate the capture and sale of wild seahorses and other endangered reef fish from the reefs and coastal areas through out the world. After over 15 years of research and work with Endangered Seahorses, the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is launching the ‘The Adopt a Seahorse Program’ in order to help re-establish seahorses in protected native habitats of Hawaii, Fiji and Tonga! The first seahorse pairs are now ready for adoption! The adopted seahorse will be released into the specific sites that are a part of marine protected areas. Their behavior and movement will be monitored and tracked by a group of Seahorse Ambassadors to include a small group of children from the local reef where the seahorses will be living. These Junior Seahorse Ambassadors will work closely with our Foundation Coordinator to learn how to become stewards of the seahorses, the beach, and the reef where the seahorses live. They will be involved in outreach to other children to teach them how to be effective stewards of these marine protected areas, helping to save our oceans and the animals and plants that live there for generations to come. The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is seeking contributions of $2500 for 2 pairs of Hippocampus hilonis for release in Hawaii at designated sites and $5000 for 2 pairs of Hippicampus kuda for release in Tavarua, Fiji and in Tonga. The time and location of the Hawaii release will be known only by the donor and the Seahorse Ambassadors since the seahorse is not officially protected in Hawaii. The Seahorse release in Fiji will happen in early May of 2014 and will be broadcasted in co-ordination with the Volcom Fiji Pro World Surf Tour! We believe that these Seahorse release projects will make a significant contribution to providing an example of how to protect our coral reefs and the animals that live there. We invite you to be a part of this grass roots project now by making a tax free contribution to the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation a 501 (c) 3 organization with Federal EIN #20-5592772 and State of Hawaii Tax ID #W37503643. Mahalo for your support! Carol Cozzi-Schmarr, Founder/President, Seahorse Hawaii Foundation Board of Directors: Carol Cozzi-Schmarr, Dr. Clyde Tamaru, Puaita Pulotu, Yuan Wang, Craig Schmarr, Chris Cozzi Allen M. Arakaki, CPA, Brian I. Ezuka Founding attorney
Today, more then ever, our coral reefs, sea grass beds and coastal waterways that are the nursery grounds for the ocean, are under attack. These are not only areas where we like to surf and play in the ocean but areas where the seahorse and many other beautiful fish and corals, which I call the art of the sea, were once common. Without protecting these areas we do not have a chance of bringing our oceans back to the pristine state they once were. As our global population tops 7 1/2 billion, pollution, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and over fishing are worse then ever. We have taken 90% of our fish out of the ocean in the last 50 years and our coral reefs are expected to disappear forever within the next 50 years if we do not do something now. Top scientist believe that if we can put 20% of our ocean into marine reserves we have a chance at saving our coral reefs and bringing our ocean back to what it was 100 years ago. Today we have 1% in marine reserves and 0.6% of that is the North Western Hawaiian Islands. We believe we have to do more. Currently, the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is committed to helping create large marine reserves in Tonga in order to protect some of the world’s last truly pristine reefs. These protected areas will serve as a wild nursery ground for re-seeding near by reefs that have been heavily stripped for food by local communities, poachers and aquarium collectors from all over the word. Puaita Pulotu, project manager, Tongan by heritage, and a north shore native, is working closely with the Government of Tonga to establish this marine reserve that will be working in conjunction with an aquaculture facility for culturing seahorses and giant clams, creating a world-class eco-lodge, and establishing a children’s educational center. The mission here is to have the local villagers become stakeholders in the project to guarantee its success. We feel that saving this unique underwater world in Tonga will be a model living example as to how the creation of marine reserves in combination with aquaculture, eco-tourism, and education can make a difference. Just like protecting the rain forest on land, the reefs are the lungs of the ocean and need our urgent help and protection. We hope you can help us help the ocean. Sincerely, The Directors of The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization since 2006 with federal I.D. #20-5592772 and State ID #W37503643. All contributions are welcome and all tax deductible.