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7 get conservation scholarships

KILAUEA — Seven students were awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships, the Friends of the Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges announced last week.

The scholarships were awarded by the Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges, the nonprofit group that provides support to the Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and continues its support of the education of future conservationists through the annual scholarship fund honoring the legacy of the late Daniel Moriarty.

“We are fortunate that, within our island community, there are so many young people who are passionate about protecting our fragile ecosystem and helping to mitigate the challenges resulting from a warming climate, habitat loss and other negative human impacts,” said Thomas Daubert, the group’s executive director.

“These awards were possible thanks to support from two generous anonymous friends in our community who are passionate about conservation and supporting tomorrow’s leaders,” he said.

Samantha Alvarado, Brissa Christophersen, Shay Garcia-Yamashita, Kauahoa Hermosura, Keali‘imalu Ka‘awa, Tali Moe and Sophia Rodriguez are the recipients of the Daniel Moriarty Memorial Scholarships.

“We are so honored to be able to support the education of these seven talented members of our community,” said Kalani Walther, the chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges.

“This year’s recipients are studying within a wide array of applicable areas, including environmental science, natural resources and environmental management, marine science, natural-resource management and tropical plant and soil science,” said Walther.

Moriarty was an environmental educator and conservationist who played a major role in developing Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and fostering a strong conservation ethic within the island community, states the announcement.

Moriarty managed the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge from 1979 to 1990. His efforts in restoring native vegetation and protecting seabirds is credited with being largely responsible for transforming the former lighthouse grounds and surrounding cliffs into one of the premier wildlife refuges in the world. He also spearheaded the successful drive to acquire Nihoku, or Crater Hill, and Mokolea, to make them a part of the KPNWF.

Since 1998, the Kilauea Point Natural History Association, now operating as Friends of Kaua‘i Wildlife Refuges, has awarded more than $140,000 in scholarships in Moriarty’s name, and continues to work to inspire, support and develop tomorrow’s conservationists. For more information on how to support future conservationists, contact Daubert at 808-828-0384, email or visit
Source: The Garden Island

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