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HEI awards multi-year grant in support of Hōkūleʻa

HONOLULU (January 29, 2014) – The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) has been awarded a five-year, $250,000 grant from Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and its related companies American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric, Hawaiʻi Electric Light and Maui Electric to support its historic voyage, Malama Honua (care for the Earth), a five-year, around-the-world odyssey by long-distance canoes Hōkūle`a and Hikianalia.

HEI’s grant will help to document the voyage and collect, interpret and share scientific and cultural data for a global audience. While Hōkūle`a is the traditionally navigated voyaging canoe using ancestral knowledge and signs of nature to navigate the ocean, Hikianalia is the ecologically friendly and high-tech support canoe powered by photovoltaic panels, electric motors and sails with satellite communications capability. The two vessels will bridge culture, tradition and indigenous knowledge with modern technology while they serve as platforms for exploration, communication and connection.

“We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary journey which will build relationships across the globe,” said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO. “We applaud PVS for their efforts to foster culture, education, exploration and sustainability as we share the same commitment to make Hawaiʻi and the world a better place for our children and generations to follow.”

American Savings Bank plans to further support Hōkūle`a awareness and fundraising efforts in their marketing and public relations activities, as well as tie in to their Bank for Education program which promotes excellence in education. The Hawaiian Electric Companies also are partnering with PVS to raise awareness. The Companies are interested in the efforts of the solar- and wind-powered vessel Hikianalia which will capture and use data to provide curricula and lesson plans directly from the voyaging canoes to classrooms in Hawaiʻi.

“We are grateful for the strong partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations like Hawaiian Electric Industries who share our values and vision for the Worldwide Voyage,” said Nainoa Thompson, PVS president. “HEI’s contribution will help assure a sustainable future that honors the health and well-being of our islands, oceans, culture and people.”

“Hōkūle`a’s historic voyage reminds us of our host culture’s courage and knowledge as well as our willingness to embrace the future,” added Alan Oshima, president of HEI’s Charitable Foundation. “We think the attention that will be given to the two canoes and their crews will inspire us to overcome challenges, hopefully inspiring new leaders. For these reasons, we are proud to support Malama Honua.”

To make a donation to Polynesian Voyaging Society, please visit www.hokulea.org.

For additional information, please contact:

Polynesian Voyaging Society
Marisa Hayase
Communications Manager
(808) 499-7387
marisa@storylineconsulting.com

Hawaiian Electric Industries
A.J. Halagao
Director, Corporate & Community Advancement
(808) 543-5889
ajhalagao@hei.com

To download the press release, please click here.