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Red limu specimin image

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Gifts from the Sea

The legendary Dr. Isabella (Izzie) Kauakea Aiona Abbott, fondly (and aptly) nicknamed “The First Lady of Limu,” would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. In tribute to her, and to celebrate the importance of limu (seaweed) to Hawai‘i dating back more than a century, we are dedicating this issue of Ka Pili Kai to Izzie and her legacy. Not only was she a world-renowned scientist, author, professor, mentor, and inspiration to all who knew her, but she also embodied the true spirit of one who dedicated her life to ensuring that the next generation of students of all different backgrounds and cultures had invaluable opportunities to learn and thrive. In the pages of this issue you will read firsthand accounts from just a handful of people, among many, whose lives she shaped, and who are now in a position to carry on her legacy.

In another very special tribute to Izzie this year, a brand-new species of red algae, Martensia abbottiae, first found on the deep coral reefs off the coast of Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi, was named after her.

I invite you to browse this issue to read more about Izzie through engaging stories and images, and also learn how limu has helped shape the history of Hawai‘i and its people.

Cindy Knapman
Hawai‘i Sea Grant Communications Leader


Preserving Knowledge, Restoring Limu Abundance
Growing a Network of Limu Practitioners
by Josh McDaniel

First Lady Of Limu
Memories of an Inspiring Mentor and Botanist
by Dr. Celia Smith, Bill Thomas, Kawika Winter, and
Mazie K. Hirono, U.S. Senator

A Community Approach
Removing Invasive Algae to Restore Native Ecosystems
by Paula Moehlenkamp

Limu Traditions
by Lurline Wailana McGregor

The Joy of Limu
by Miwa Tamanaha