NEW YORK, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawai'i's legendary traditional voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa achieved the pinnacle of her historic four-year sail around the world at today's United Nations (UN) celebration of World Oceans Day: a global event focused on ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year's theme of "Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet" encouraged individuals and organizations across the globe to take action in preventing plastic pollution in our ocean, with programming that featured the powerful and lasting presence of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
In a morning ceremony at Gantry Plaza State Park, master navigator Nainoa Thompson presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. with ocean protection declarations and messages of hope that the Hōkūleʻa crew members collected from their worldwide journey promoting sustainable oceans.
"Captain Nainoa, I wish you and your entire crew a wonderful return journey," said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who sailed on Hōkūleʻa in Apia, Samoa in 2014. " I count on your leadership and commitment as we carry out our plans to make this world safer and more sustainable for all. On World Oceans Day, let us renew our resolve to protect these marine treasures for generations to come."
Later in the afternoon, Thompson joined Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and representatives of the Federated States of Micronesia, for a talk-story session focused on uniting leadership on the UN's Ocean Agenda and goals. The leaders also discussed development regarding the negotiation of a new legally binding instrument to protect biodiversity in marine areas in the high seas.
For media assets of Hōkūle'a at World Oceans Day, click here:
For Hōkūle'a's most up-to-date US east coast schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.
To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage
About World Oceans Day:
The official designation of World Oceans Day by the United Nations is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits derived from the oceans and the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. The day is intended to provide an opportunity for people to reflect and emphasize the benefits that the oceans can provide and our individual and collective duty to interact with oceans in a sustainable manner so as to meet current needs without compromising those of future generations. http://www.un.org/depts/los/wod/index.html
About the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines:
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO's Marine World Heritage sites. Voyaging from Hawaiʻi in 2013 with an estimated sail conclusion date of June 2017, the Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hōkūleʻa around Island Earth and her sister canoe Hikianalia around the Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth - practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.
Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hōkūle'a has sailed more than 26,000 nautical miles and made stops in 14 countries and 65 ports, weaving a "Lei of Hope" around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hōkūle'a to spread the message of mālama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited. So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Cuba. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage reached the East Coast of the United States in March. The crew visited Florida's NASA Kennedy Space Center, Charleston, S.C. and celebrated Earth Day in Newport, VA. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/
Hōkūle'a first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea guided by nature using the ocean swells, stars, and wind.
About the Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one other, and their natural and cultural environments.
Note: The Polynesian Voyaging Society is sensitive to and understands the importance of diacritical markings. In mediums where the reproduction of these markings is true (i.e., in print), diacritical markings will be used. If a communication crosses several mediums to include the Web, which does not always reproduce diacritical markings correctly, diacritical markings will not be used.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hklea-delivers-messages-to-the-un-secretary-general-on-world-oceans-day-300282701.html
SOURCE Polynesian Voyaging Society