Alaska Airlines and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii are teaming up to restore near-shore coral reefs, which provide both recreation and sustenance to Hawaii's residents and visitors. During the month of August, for every Alaska Airlines mobile application downloaded, the airline will donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, with a minimum contribution of $30,000.
The contribution will support the Conservancy's work in Kaneohe Bay, on Oahu, where two types of invasive algae are smothering the coral reefs. With help from the Hawaii State Division of Aquatic Resources and University of Hawaii scientists, a restoration team is using innovative underwater vacuums called "Super Suckers" to clear the invasive seaweed off the reefs, and then seeding the reefs with native sea urchins that feed on the algae and keep it from growing back. Once home to some of the highest numbers and greatest diversity of reef fish and coral on Oahu, the bay is under assault from the algae, which forms thick, tangled mats that smother and kill coral. The Conservancy expects to clear the north end of Kaneohe Bay of harmful algae by 2015.
"The Nature Conservancy would like to thank Alaska Airlines for its generous support of our work to free Kaneohe Bay from the chokehold of invasive algae," said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy's Hawaii executive director. "They have an exemplary record as good stewards of the environment."
Along with protecting Hawaii's coral reefs, the partnership also aims to make Alaska Airlines a greener airline by encouraging customers to use Alaska' mobile app instead of printing paper boarding passes. The vast majority of airports Alaska Airlines serves are equipped to accept electronic boarding passes. Customers can learn more and download Alaska Airlines' apps for the iPhone and Android devices at www.alaskaair.com/mobile .
"Our commitment to Hawaii goes far beyond flying airplanes to and from the West Coast," said Brad Tilden, president and CEO of Alaska Airlines. "We understand the contribution Hawaii's environment makes to its economy and quality of life. That's why we are proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy. Their work to restore Kaneohe Bay and protect the state's environment benefits future generations of residents and visitors alike."
Alaska Airlines has been a strong supporter of The Nature Conservancy for 24 years and has been a member of the Hawaii chapter's Corporate Council for the Environment since 2011. The council is a statewide group of business leaders who recognize the vital link between Hawaii's environment and its economy.
The carrier has made significant strides in reducing its impact on the environment in recent years. Last week, Alaska Airlines became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy LLC to purchase sustainable biofuel for its Hawaii flights. Learn more about the announcement at http://bit.ly/16iA9o6.