Makai Fest Ocean Awareness Summit


Educate yourself. Get Inspired. Be the change.

Makai Fest is thrilled to host its first annual Ocean Awareness Summit.  Get ready for a day of learning from the world’s leading experts in ocean conservation, wildlife and eco-systems, as well as about progressive strategies to save our oceans. Micro-plastics, trash and pollution, and human impact are just a few things taking over our oceans’ and planet’s health. Join us at the grand finale of Makai Fest to gain perspective, learn new concepts, and enjoy some food with a great view too!


Check-in 9:30 a.m.

Summit begins at 10:00 a.m.

Pupu and lunch included in ticket price. Cash bar.


Plastics + A Global Perspective

Kahi Pacarro, CEO of Parley Hawaii

Rafael Bergstrom, Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii

Plastics. Micro-plastics. Recycle. We hear these terms everyday, but do we really understand what they mean? Just 1% of ocean plastics remain at the surface. The rest? Ingested by marine life that humans consume, by sea birds looking for food, and more. Does recycling really make an impact? Learn more about the plastic epidemic that has taken over our planet and what you can do to help reverse the trend.

Coral Reefs

Dr. Keisha Bahr, Ph.D, Physiological Ecologist

Coral reefs are one of the most ecologically and economically important ecosystems on Earth. An estimated 85% of the United States’ reef area is located within the Hawaiian Archipelago, which was recently valued at $33.6 billion dollars annually. Reefs are the foundation to our social, cultural, and economic life in Hawaii. Learn more from Dr. Bahr about how coral reefs have changed in just the past short five years, and how she developed a coral health assessment tool to track coral resilience.

Sharks + Fisheries

Dr. Melanie Hutchinson, Ph.D

Commercial fisheries and sharks don’t go together. Dr. Hutchinson has spent her career working on finding different ways to reduce the impact that commercial fisheries that target tuna and bill fish in efforts to save pelagic shark populations.

Ocean Fisheries: Problems + Solutions

Dr. Mark Hixon, Ph.D

Dr. Mark Hixon will illustrate the effects of global fisheries on ocean ecosystems and explore practical solutions that will ensure sustainable food from the sea for generations to come.

Climate Change + Community Impact

Dr. Lisa Marten, Ph.D

Climate change: The big picture. What is going on? What role does the ocean play? How will it affect us? What we can do about it?

Dr. Lisa Marten is a public health professional that believes climate change poses the greatest health threat of our time. She works to address climate change locally through the non-profit Healthy Climate Communities. The focus has been on education, including science curriculum development; community forestry on the watershed of Hamakua Marsh; and lobbying for renewable energy policy.

Presenting Organizations + Entrepreneurs

Learn about new ideas, technologies and organizations that are leading the charge to be the change for our planet.

Ray Aivazian – Seed

Lisa Marten – Healthy Climate Communities

Cindy Knapman – Hawaii Sea Grant

Julian Sculley – Alchemer

Rafael Bergstrom – Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii