The opportunity to form a partnership with Seacology to support the ongoing public outreach for Marae Moana began during a visit by Prime Minister Henry Puna and Ambassador Kevin Iro to San Francisco in January 2020 to present Marae Moana at the University of Berkley and a speaking engagement at the Commonwealth Club.
Marae Moana office coordinator Maria Tuoro said grant funds will be utilised through a variety of mediums including social media, print and radio, merchandise, video, websites and school visits.
Prime Minister Henry Puna expressed his sincere gratitude to Seacology, “for its total and sincere commitment to the protection of our environment and in particular our ocean domain and our Voyaging Society”.
“I hope this generous support offered by Seacology will continue to inspire and encourage Marae Moana through the education of our people,” he said.
“We look forward to further opportunities to strengthen and deepen our relationship with Marae Moana.”
Seacology executive director Duane Silverstein said by creating Marae Moana, the world's largest multi-use marine park, the people of Cook Islands have not only begun to protect their precious marine biodiversity for future generations but have set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
Marae Moana shows that when it comes to protecting nature the size of a nation is not as important as the foresight and courage of its people, Silverstein said.
“The establishment of Marae Moana was a huge achievement but much remains to be done to make sure it becomes a vibrant and functioning park protecting nature's bounty,” he said.
“For this reason that Seacology is pleased to provide a US$100,000 grant for a comprehensive public education campaign regarding the importance of this marine park. On behalf of Seacology, Meitaki Ma'ata to the people of Cook Islands for this great gift to the world that is Marae Moana.”
Program manager Mary Randolph said Seacology had been following the progress of Marae Moana and was happy to consider supporting efforts to make sure all Cook Islanders feel justifiably proud of what the country is doing to safeguard its resources, its heritage and its future.