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Listening to The Land

Mist shourds the mountains at the taro fields of Papahana Kuaola, on Oahu, HI. By reintroducing native varieties of taro, the organization provides both a valuable local resource and a path towards economic sustainability.
Keli’i Sur strips dead taro leaves to make room for new growth.
Leomana Turalda, a student of astrophysics, was our guide on Oahu, and introduced us to Keli’i and the folks at Papahana Kuaola.
Cliffside with Leomana, on a hike in Oahu.
At Papahana Kuaola, Leomana cleans the tarps that direct the flow of the mountain stream irrigating the taro fields.
After working in the taro fields, we stopped for lunch at a roadside rotisserie chicken spot with Leomana, on the North Shore in Oahu.
On Hawai’i — the Big Island — Leomana guides us around the edges of a volcano.
Kahi Pacarro, Co-Founder of Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i and CEO of Parley Hawai'i, organizes local beach cleanups through his nonprofit.
Josiah Ching and Kanoe Davis, cook us fish and steak on Moloka’i, using a hibachi passed down from Josiah’s father.
Josiah is the Executive Director of the Moloka'i Land Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and restoring the resources of Moloka’i.
Josiah fly fishing at sundown for Bonefish (O’io in Hawaiian).
Here, Josiah showed us how to tie a bone fly.
The nonprofit Paepae o He'eia is rebuilding an ancient fishpond, preventing erosion, encouraging biodiversity, and feeding the community. Here, Project Manager Keahi Pi’iohi’a splits a coconut.
After meeting Hawai'i's new generation of community leaders, spotting this double rainbow off the North Shore of Oahu seemed to underscore their vision of a brighter future for the islands.
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March 2019

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

We were greeted in Hawai’i by torrential rains — downpours stopped and started all week long, blanketing the hills in thick clouds.
Rain or shine, we spent our time with a group of dedicated men working to reclaim their past and preserve the islands for the future.
They put our gear to the test planting taro fields, restoring fish ponds, and reintroducing native species to the land. Active and hardworking,
they lead their lives thoughtfully, and with a deep sense of responsibility. They inspired us daily, and it’s our privilege to introduce
you to them and the natural resources they’re fighting to protect.