Remembering a Founder of Environment Hawai‘i

posted in: November 2018 | 0

When I moved to Hawai‘i in the summer of 1989, Marjorie Ziegler was one of the first friends I made. I walked into the office of what was then the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, in the hope of establishing contact with people involved in the environmental movement. My expectation was that I would be supporting myself by writing freelance articles on natural resource and environmental issues in Hawai‘i.

As it turns out, there wasn’t much of a market for environmental articles at that time. By the spring of 1990, Marj, Andria Benner – an Environmental Protection Agency employee on loan to the state Department of Health – and I had resolved that the best way to inform the public about matters that bore on the state’s environmental quality, public health, and natural resources was to just do it ourselves.

And thus was Environment Hawai‘i born, making its debut in July 1990.

For the first couple of years, Marj contributed columns that described ways in which individuals could take meaningful actions, and in the early 2000s she wrote an occasional column for us, “E Ho‘omau I Ke Ola,” that detailed the cultural and management histories of Hawai‘i’s native plants and animals. She also helped out with administrative tasks and was invaluable in suggesting story ideas, making introductions, and providing encouragement at times when I needed it most.

She served on the board of directors of Environment Hawai‘i from its founding days until she landed at the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i. Even after, she remained a stalwart supporter of the newsletter.

I will miss her enthusiasms, her criticisms, her wit, her knowledge, and her insight. She was one of the best friends I ever had. Aloha no, Marj.

— Patricia Tummons

Leave a Reply