Christina Lizzi Joins Maui Nui Marine Resource Council as Executive Director
KIHEI, HI – Maui Nui Marine Resource Council (MNMRC), a community-based nonprofit celebrating 11 years of working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and abundant native fish for the islands of Maui County, has announced that Christina Lizzi, Esq. has joined the organization as Executive Director.
Christina received her Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating summa cum laude with certificates in environmental law and Native Hawaiian rights. She earned her B.A. from George Washington University, magna cum laude. She most recently served as a judicial law clerk for Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna and Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack at the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. She is also a lecturer in law at the William S. Richardson School of Law and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.
Christina brings both local and international experience to her position with MNMRC. During law school, she was a delegate of Richardson’s Environmental Law Program to the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress; studied for a semester at O.P. Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India; externed at the National Green Tribunal of India in New Delhi; and was a Sam L. Cohen International Human Rights Fellow. Locally, Christina assisted the Hawaiʻi State Environmental Council with drafting updates to Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules Chapter 11-200, Environmental Impact Statement Rules, which were recently signed into law. Christina also spent four years working at the University of Hawaiʻi Center on Disability Studies on a variety of projects to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities statewide. Prior to moving to Hawaiʻi in 2012, Christina was a policy analyst and national community organizer on fisheries issues at Food & Water Watch, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.
“Christina has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the environment and to the well-being of Hawaiʻi,” said Robin Newbold, co-founder and Chair of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “Her professionalism, excellent communication skills, ability to bring people together, experience with environmental nonprofits, and love of the ocean are qualities that will serve our organization well as we expand our projects and programs on behalf of our local coral reefs.”
“It is a great honor to be joining MNMRC,” Christina expressed. “We are at an environmental turning point. The actions we take today as a community are critical to ensuring future generations will have an opportunity not only to enjoy Maui’s water-based lifestyle and to continue traditional and customary practices as those today do, but so that tomorrow’s keiki may thrive in renewed relationship with the environment, with healthy coral reefs, clean water, and abundant native fish for years to come. I look forward with hope, humility, and enthusiasm to leading MNMRC’s efforts to achieve this vision.”
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is best known for its role as a co-founder and managing partner of Hui O Ka Wai Ola, a unique volunteer-based ocean water quality monitoring program that routinely tests ocean water quality at 39 locations in South and West Maui. Other current work includes a pilot project to utilize oysters to remove pollutants and sediment from the ocean water at Maʻalaea Harbor, a program to install firebreaks and native plants in the 4,000 acre Pohakea watershed above Maʻalaea to prevent wildfires that contribute to sediment runoff into Maʻalaea Bay, a visitor education program about protecting coral reefs, a monthly speaker series on topics pertaining to marine conservation and Mauiʻs environment, and support of coral reef research in Olowalu and Maʻalaea.
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council also helped establish and continues to support the Maui Nui Makai Network, a bottom’s up approach to protecting coastal reef and fish populations patterned after traditional Hawaiian approaches. The organization also assembled the Maui Coral Reef Recovery team — a group of eminent scientists, fishers, county government and community representatives — to write a Coral Reef Recovery Plan and provide guidance on its implementation.
To learn more about Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, visit www.mauireefs.org.