Interview with Al Smith of Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors

Many people talk, Al Smith walks. Al is a great example of someone taking action. He and his ocean ambassadors take part in regular beach clean ups. Take a look at their Beach Clean Ups page on the groups website to get a better sense of the impact they are having.  The ocean ambassadors are, as they put it, "Protecting Hawaii's Oceans through Dedicated Community Outreach."

Listen to our full interview with Al.

We discuss:

  • How to take action
  • How he went from finance to the beaches of Hawaii
  • Coral reefs at Hawaii's tourist beaches
  • Making change in your community
  • Working with local government
  • Building communities

Guest Bio

Al graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BS in Finance. Following a 10 year career that included work at both investment banks and technology start-ups in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Al moved to Hawaii and fell in love with the Windward Side of Oahu. He successfully ran for office and now serves on the Kailua Neighborhood Board and is the Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee. He has a passion for long distance ocean swimming and may jokingly hold the record at Kuilima Cove on the North Shore where he once swam 68 laps for a total of 8.25 miles. While there is no doubt that others can and have swum further, most of his friends contend that no one else is likely to have been determined (or strange) enough to have done so in such a small cove. Al plans to apply that same determination in his efforts as the Ambassador for Kailua & Lanikai, as well as overall direction of HOA's letter writing, petition, and political campaigns.

Links from the show

Al Smith Instagram:

HOA Website:

HOA Instagram:



  1. Kealoha Kelley on August 23, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Self-empowered clean up events…generated by ones self, family and friends! This is the way to go! And the backside of that is making an individual commitment to re-cycle, re-use and be responsible about our personal rubbish!
    It takes a village as they say…and all your points are well-taken. I wish you continued success with your projects and hope more people come on board to support these and other efforts to reclaim our beaches and oceans.
    Thanks, Al, for all you do for our islands, and seas, and our earth!

    • Al Smith on August 23, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      I had such a great time doing this podcast and am so impressed by the work being done by Live to Sutain! Cheers to a better and more sustainable future! (And thanks Kealoha for listening and for your comments – couldn’t agree more!)

  2. Adam Cunningham on August 25, 2018 at 9:10 am

    No, thank you, Al. We really appreciate what you are doing in Hawaii and hope this sort of effort continues to grow around the world.

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