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Wrong Donna Kahakui?

Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui

Federal Agent

Environmental Protection Agency

HQ Phone:  (202) 564-4700

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia,20460

United States

Company Description

The Diesel Emissions Reduction National Program (DERA) authorized by Title VII, Subtitle G (Sections 791 to 797) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) enables EPA to offer funding assistance to eligible entities on a competitive basis. Fiscal Year 2008...more

Web References(21 Total References)


More Fish In the Sea

www.morefishhawaii.com [cached]

Donna Kahi Kahakui, a renown paddler, EPA special agent and founder of Kai Makana.


Mālama Hawai‘i

malamahawaii.org [cached]

Along with champion paddler Donna Kahakui, Lee Loy paddled 200-miles from O'ahu to Ni'ihau to help promote ocean conservation.
He adds, "Paddling with Donna, I felt like the whole ocean catered to her. It was amazing. Things just went her way, and because I was with her I didn't feel as tired." This four-day trek was monumental for Kahakui and her nonprofit organization, Kai Makana, as it marked the end of a series of yearly paddles dedicated to ocean awareness. Starting in 1998, Kahakui paddled 78-miles from Maui to O'ahu. The following year she made a 140-mile solo paddle from the Big Island to O'ahu. In 2000, she completed another 140-mile trip, circumnavigating around O'ahu. In 2001, it was off to New York where she paddled 55-miles down the Hudson River from West Point to the Statue of Liberty. Kahakui started her distance paddles because she's tired of people not caring for the ocean's resources. She says, dolphins with cuts from abandoned nets, trash floating in the ocean, and a severe decline in nearshore fish are all parts of the problem. Kahakui says, "Our ancestors were the best conservationists and scientists and we've lost that. We have to take a look back at our traditional history and ask how Hawaiians were able to figure out ahupua'a concepts and how they knew when to fish for certain species. These traditional Hawaiians worked on abundance for the resource, not just sustaining it. They always worked on providing for the next generation." These sentiments ring true to Ross Tilton, a young paddler who looks up to Kahakui and Lee Loy. Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui, 42, renowned paddler and founder of Kai Makana, a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating ocean awareness for the next generation, has made the isolated village a top priority for her beach clean-up events. Kahakui explains that she has been coming to the island for the past three years. She says, "These people are trying to sustain the old fishing ways by using throw net and developing a fish pond, but so many people come out here and over fish the area." Kahakui is passionate about the environment. Along with her paddling career and Kai Makana organization, she is also a federal agent for the Environmental Protection Agency. She explains that most of the trash found on Mokauea floats from Oahu's Sand Island area. To illustrate her point Kahakui held up a photograph she snapped during a September 2004 trip to Kaho'olawe. In the photo thousands of pounds of trash are visible on the uninhabited Island. She says, "Nobody lives there and this is how much rubbish is at Kanapou Bay, this is where we went. And when we actually did the clean-up, unfortunately, it still kind of looked like this." But regardless of how measurable clean-up efforts appear on the surface, Kahakui says the most important thing she does is educate the next generation of local conservationists. She says, "Hawaiians used to be the best scientists in the world and we still can't figure out half the things they did. So to try and get all Polynesian kids involved in science with them not even recognizing the science is a major goal." She continues, "Get outside learn how to paddle, go to another place, take care of other people, and learn that water is not necessarily as clean as you may think.


Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine > FREE PREVIEW!

www.makaihawaii.com [cached]

Donna Kahiwa Kahakui
Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine > FREE PREVIEW! Donna Kahiwa Kahakui: Paddling For Life As her one-man canoe sliced through the water, Donna "Kahiwa" Kahakui remembers looking over the side and being able to see clearly to the bottom. The water was so translucent, she had a perfect view of the patterned sand ripples on the sea floor, formed by the ocean currents. Just as she neared the Ala Moana buoy, where she planned to turn the canoe around to head back towards Outrigger Canoe Club, a smooth dorsal fin broke the surface of water next to Kahakui's boat. "At the time, I hadn't spent a whole lot of time on the ocean by myself," says Kahakui. "And a dorsal fin is not always a good thing. I was trying to pretend like I didn't see it." When she turned the canoe to head back, Kahakui realized that the ominous shapes in the water next to her weren't sharks, they were dolphins - three bottle-nosed dolphins. "They were huge," recalls Kahakui. "They came up on me on both sides of the canoe - two big ones and one baby. They were right next to me so I was trying to figure out how to paddle. But every time I took a stroke it was like they knew and they'd go down and then come back up." The dolphins stayed with Kahakui for over 30 minutes, playing underneath the hull of the canoe and swimming along side her. The smallest dolphin stayed right by her the whole time. When she was almost back to shore, Kahakui remembers taking a stroke and looking at the baby dolphin. "He kind of rolled over and I looked straight into his eye," she says. "That's when I got it. It was like this dolphin was looking at me and saying, 'Wake up.'" Wake up to the problems that continue to threaten our ocean environment. Wake up and do something. Kahakui, 40, grew up in Waikiki. She learned to surf when she was three and lived with the ocean as her playground. Her sport of choice in high school was swimming, but she began paddling when a friend of her mother's saw her strong, square shoulders and pegged Kahakui's paddling potential. "I remember what Waikiki used to look like," she recalls. In the seven years since the non-profit was started, Kahakui has led countless paddling expeditions to raise money for ocean preservation, participated in hundreds of ocean environmental clean-ups and launched a Youth Mentorship Program offering keiki a holistic view of their world, the ocean and their culture. "At first I didn't know anything," admits Kahakui. "I was never a marine biologist. I'm more of a numbers kind of girl. It was a whole new experience for me to learn what all those gross, ugly bumps on sick sea turtles were." It's a lifelong commitment from Kahakui, who is also joined by a formidable group of board members, advisors and volunteers including Nainoa Thompson, Teresa Bright and Kanoe Cazimero. Kahakui, a graduate of Punahou School and a political science major at Oregon State University, worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a federal agent for 10 years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened an office in Honolulu and Kahakui came on as a federal agent for the organization in 2002. "You give up family, getting married - you make choices," says Kahakui. The day of Makai's interview with Kahakui, she had just come from taking a group of keiki to Heeia Pier to pick limu and to learn about water quality testing. "We try to give them experiences that most people don't get to have so they can feel special about being a part of nature," she says. It was a joint effort and about 20 other paddlers joined Kahakui for parts of the journey. In addition to her countless other paddling achievements and records set, Kahakui has garnered other honors as well. She was named Athlete of the Year by Tiffany and Company, Ecotraveler of the Year and Female Senior Athlete of the Year by the Quarterback Club to name a few. She has paddled eight channels among the main islands of the state of and has journeyed from Oahu to Molokai over 30 Times. Although Kahakui is one tough competitor when it comes to the sport of paddling, she views the win more as a fleeting moment in time, and prefers to concentrate instead on the psychological benefits of pushing her body to its limit. "It's all a game of the mind," says Kahakui, explaining how she gets through some of her toughest paddles. "No matter how physically fit you are, it's really about if your mind is going to allow you to do it. When everything on your body hurts, it's your mind that tells you to stop or that you can do it." It's tough to keep your mind focused when you've been traversing rough seas for hours in a solo canoe enduring the blinding glare off of the ocean's surface by day and the freezing sea spray at night. Sometimes Kahakui has only three hours of sleep on an escort boat with no hot water or food until she's back in the ocean paddling again. Kahakui would like to pass on to the younger generations the idea that our mind is our strongest asset. "With kids now, it's all about instant gratification to them," she says. Kahakui sees her participation in paddling as an opportunity to become a better person and to bring knowledge to the community. "I think sometimes what people don't understand is that when you look out at the water from land, it's beautiful, but when you're on top of it, paddling in it, you're looking at all this rubbish," she explains. "The oil sheen on the water from boats, the department store plastic bags, aluminum cans, empty sun tan lotion bottles. How can we allow this to be acceptable?" It's not all bad, however. Kahakui, who gets in the water at least once a day for an hour or two, gets to see some incredible miracles of paradise. "Like Makapu'u Point," says Kahakui. Kahakui has seen the coast of all the Hawaiian islands. She's seen untouched beauty and had the opportunity to glimpse nature that seemed to burst to life around her. Untouched, peaceful and pure. "I will stop and take in the moment," Kahakui answers when asked if she's more focused on training than sight seeing. "You could concentrate only on the training and the win, or you can stop and look for that one moment and appreciate it. Because who knows what will happen to it in the future." During her paddling career, of course there have been situations that were potentially dangerous for Kahakui. But this Hawaiian, Caucasian, Chinese local girl, who admits she feels like she has gills sometimes, says she refuses to live in fear. "I try to have as much respect for the water as I can," says Kahakui, who as a child used to take her tricycle and ride it on the bottom of her friend's pool. "I feel really fortunate. There's been times when I've gotten slammed by waves or times when I've been tossed surfing down the face of a big wave in the middle of the ocean. But I enjoy the moment and the ocean always seems to take care of me." Kahakui doesn't consider herself a risk-taker when it comes to the ocean, however. You'd be more likely to see her in a set two feet high than being towed into Jaws. "People still always worry about me when I paddle," Kahakui says. "I say, if something were to happen and I didn't make it, what a way to go, doing the thing you love most. You can't be afraid of life." Kanoe Cazimero, a long-time friend of Kahakui and Kai Makana's vice president of the advisory board, says that that Kahakui has truly grown into her Hawaiian name which means "the favorite waters of heaven." Kanoe Cazimero, a long-time friend of Kahakui and Kai Makana's vice president of the advisory board, says that that Kahakui has truly grown into her Hawaiian name which means "the favorite waters of heaven." "Paddling is a vehicle to be in the ocean, to travel the world, to meet a lot of great people and to compete against the best," says Kahakui.


Welcome to the Hawaiian Outigger Canoe Voyaging Society

www.hocvs.org [cached]

Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui
Donna grew up in Hawai'i and graduated from Punahou School. She started paddling at the age of 15 with the famous Outrigger Canoe Club, and over the years competed and won just about every event in existence, both in the one-person and six-person categories. To raise awareness for the protection of the oceans, she has paddled solo amongst many pacific islands, including the Hawaiian Islands, and on many rivers and streams, including the Hudson River in New York. Donna works as a federal agent for the Environmental Protection Agency.


Chronicling O'ahu women on film - The Honolulu Advertiser

www.honoluluadvertiser.com [cached]

Donna Kahakui "The ocean and I are one and the same," says waterwoman and environmental activist Donna Kahakui.The founder of the marine education nonprofit Kai Makana, Kahakui paddled 200 miles from O'ahu to Ni'ihau to raise money and awareness for ocean conservation in 2004.A federal agent with the Environmental Protection Agency's Hawai'i office, Kahakui continues to paddle.


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