Large waves hit the shores of Malibu. Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Honda Tuesday announced the establishment of the Honda Marine Science Foundation to address marine ecosystem restoration and the impact of humans and climate change on oceans and intertidal areas.

The new initiative was inspired by the Japanese concept of sato-umi — the convergence of land and sea where human and marine life can harmoniously coexist, according to a statement issued from the carmaker’s North American headquarters in Torrance.

Committed to marine conservation, the foundation will support science- based programs that improve and preserve coastal areas for future generations, it said, asserting that its first project is the Southern California Native Oyster Restoration Project.

In 2015, Honda began researching the oceanic and aquatic impacts of a rapidly changing climate, ocean acidification and rising sea levels. Honda also set out to address human impacts on marine environments, including water pollution and overfishing, the statement said.

“As a company dedicated to sustainability, we are proud to launch the Honda Marine Science Foundation and focus on coastal environmental awareness,” said Honda Marine Science Foundation Chairman Steven Center. “After learning about the challenges and opportunities presented to us by a range of oceanic and atmospheric experts, Honda determined the foundation would foster meaningful cross-sector collaboration to help restore our marine ecosystems.”

The Southern California Native Oyster Restoration Project is being conducted in partnership with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara. The goals of the project include pioneering research to educate the public about the benefits of restoring native oysters for shoreline stabilization.

“Collaborating with the Honda Marine Science Foundation will expand our research efforts and help educate people about the positive impact native oyster restoration will have on the Southern California coast,” said Hunter Lenihan, a professor at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and a member of the board of the Honda Marine Science Foundation.

The board is comprised of Honda representatives and experts in marine sciences, including Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay, the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The board will help identify projects that support the foundation’s mission and provide guidance for these projects.

—City News Service

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