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Conservation and Environment
"Mea ho'onani kino no olakino maikai kohola"
English translation of this Hawai'ian phrase: "Beautiful jewelry for healthy reefs'. This phrase embodies the reason why I created Jewels of the Reef in 2006 and why I continue to passionately create my art under this moniker. I have loved to sail most of my adult life, and that passion has led me to some truly incredible tropical environments, thereby affording me a unique perspective and understanding of the importance of tropical reefs in our world. Through much of my jewelry art I am celebrating and focusing attention on, as well as gaining inspiration from, the spectacular tropical reef environment and the life within it, as well as the life that springs from it throughout the seas and tropical landscapes, especially here in Hawai'i. The Hawai'ian islands are surrounded by an extremely unique reef system, due to the geographic isolation of being thousands of miles from other significant land masses, and approximately 25% of fish species here are found nowhere else in the world.

Many of us are passionate about our concern for and protection of the tropical reef environs of the world, and for good reason, not only due to the reef's unparalleled exotic beauty, but also because they are crucial for our own being. I believe my work helps convey this passion to other people also, who may not be as aware of this environment or its importance on our planet. It's very exciting for me to be able to practice my artwork and craft, and have a positive impact on the global problem we face of reef conservation.

I have always, since high school, supported and volunteered my time towards environmental organizations that perform crucial roles in protecting our earth's diverse habitats, as I still do today with proceeds from my jewelry sales. I am a Lifetime Sierra Club member and a past group chairman, and I performed nearly a year of work for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District when I lived in Truckee, California, helping to create a program to protect the waters of the region from aquatic invasive species. When I was appointed to the Town of Truckee Planning Commission and elected to serve as Town Council Member and Mayor, I worked diligently for almost eight years on the dais to protect the beautiful central Sierra mountain environs that are such a treasure to us all. Now my near focus is on these magnificent islands of Hawai'i, where I consider myself to be a fortunate guest of the Hawai'ians. Here I am able to offer my knowledge and experience to help preserve the environment that is so cherished by and engrained in the Hawai'ian culture, as well as help to reverse some of the extensive damage suffered by these environs over the past few centuries through abusive and destructive behavior.

On a larger scale, a few outstanding organizations today that are performing extremely valuable work in very diverse ways to protect tropical environments and their reefs worldwide are:

Seacology ( www.seacology.org )
The Coral Reef Alliance ( www.coral.org )
Reef Relief ( www.reefrelief.org )
Sailors for the Sea ( www.sailorsforthesea.org )
The Nature Conservancy ( www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/coralreefs/index.htm)

I encourage you to learn about their valuable and extensive work through their websites and Facebook, and to support them in their efforts.
Reef Facts-Why Our Reefs Are So Important

- Reefs are the largest living structures on earth, as coral reefs are formed of living coral.

- Reefs are amongst the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth (2nd only to the tropical rainforest), with approximately 25% of all ocean species living within and supported by coral reefs. Reef life impacts the life of all ocean life-all of the fish we eat.

- Food and income for hundreds of millions of people worldwide is provided by coral reefs. The world’s tropical island cultures are dependent on reef survival.

- Coral Reefs have played an important role in the development of treatments for cancer, HIV, cardiovascular disease and ulcers.

- If the current rate of destruction continues, 70% of the earth’s coral reefs will be destroyed by the year 2050.

- Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea, thereby protecting coastal homes, businesses, development, agricultural lands, villages, beaches and mangroves. They help to mitigate hurricane storm surge and even tsunami damage.

- Coral reefs actually protect portions of Florida from being underwater.

How We Impact Coral Reefs

- Reefs are the most threatened marine ecosystem on the planet today.

- Unpolluted water is necessary for coral reefs to survive, so pollution from all sources damage and can kill coral reefs.

- Destructive fishing practices of which there are many, such as explosive blast fishing, drag netting, overfishing of individual species, and mass shark destruction (by the millions for Shark Fin Soup) are examples.

- Poor development practices and deforestation on land causes massive amounts of erosion sediment and pollutants that kill reefs.

- Walking on, standing on and boat anchoring on the coral reef damages it, as the tiny living polyps that create the reef are easily killed.

- Climate Change is the biggest threat to the reef. Rising sea level from polar ice melt, increased ocean water temperatures and acidification of our oceans caused by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas we produce) are all extremely damaging to the reef and all the life it supports.

- Harvesting coral for jewelry, crafts and collectibles

- Good management practices being developed through current scientific research to build resiliency into the reefs is having a positive affect against damage being caused by climate change, but only on relatively tiny areas at this time.

I Don’t Use Coral In My Designs

People have commented to me that with a name like Jewels of the Reef, I must create coral jewelry. But no, I value and respect the living reef environment too much to be a party to its destruction. Worldwide harvesting of coral reefs for coral jewelry, crafts and collectibles is a destructive impact we can no longer afford due to all of the other negative impacts discussed above that are currently converging on the world’s reefs. You will not see coral used in my designs.

My Metals Are Precious-and 100% Recycled

- All of my precious metals are of the highest quality attainable today.

- In my lost wax castings and original bench fabrications, I only work with 100% recycled gold and silver that has been purified and alloyed to the highest standards possible.

- There is no lead in any of the precious metals I cast or fabricate with.

- My jewelry is not requiring additional mining of these precious metals.

- My precious metals are all certified to be of the purity and alloy embossed on each piece of my fine jewelry art.

Please Recycle and Reuse

Please recycle or reuse our shipping boxes, as they are 100% recyclable cardboard.

We use bubble wrap to package for shipping because it is the best at protecting our jewelry and keeping it clean for your enjoyment, making sure it arrives undamaged. It uses few resources as it is mostly air. We hope that you will reuse the bubble wrap that we used so as to keep it out of landfills and the environment.

Reef Conservation Organizations We Support