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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ocean etiquette drives Maui firm

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

MiQe Klemme, right, owner of Maui Thrills Eco-Nature Tours, takes volunteers to the Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve for a beach clean-up.

MATT RAMSEY | Ahihi-Kina'u ranger

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For information on awards, see www.hawaiireef.net.

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Hawai'i tour operators need to encourage the conservation of the Islands' natural resources and educate tourists about how to preserve them.

That's a key belief of Maui Thrills Eco-Nature Tours, which was among the businesses and others honored yesterday at the Coral Reef Outreach Network's 2nd annual Hawaii Living Reef Program Awards.

The nine-year-old Maui company gives visitors educational briefings about the island's culture and ocean etiquette before taking them out only six people at a time for kayaking and snorkeling tours, said owner MiQe Klemme.

Klemme also founded and leads a volunteer organization that, among other things, cleans up coastlines and distributes brochures on sustainable tourism tips.

"I've always had this innate appreciation of nature," Klemme said. "Anybody who comes to the island should feel the desire to protect the resources here."

Other businesses honored yesterday include:

  • Pacific Islands Institute, an educational travel company that works with local biologists and others to inform visitors about Hawai'i's reef systems and other natural resources.

  • Maui Land and Pineapple Co. Inc., for environmental efforts including using best management practices for pineapple agriculture and protecting the upper watershed through the creation of the Pu'u Kukui Preserve.

    ON THE WEB

    For information on awards, see www.hawaiireef.net.

    Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.