Kaknab was founded by marine scientist and UC Berkeley Alumna, Jessica Hernandez. She was inspired to create a non-profit that will allow her to help the Water People and give back to her tribes, located in coastal regions. She grew up surrounded by indigenous principles and her relatives—including her parents—are fishermen. Her close understanding to the struggles climate change impacts bring to her tribe and other villages is what motivated to create a non-profit that would protect the oceans and the cultures it sustains.
Kaknab relies on the fundamentals of integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge. Understanding why the ocean plays an important role in many coastal indigenous communities is key to working together with tribes, fishermen and policy makers to make sure we continue to respect, honor and protect our ocean. The ocean not only makes up 97% of our world, it also sustains a history that has shaped our way of life.
Kaknab takes pride in its diverse background that allow us to fulfill our vision of restoring healthy oceans and coasts through conservation utilizing indigenous resource management practices and values. We collaborate with tribal leaders, fishermen in cooperatives and policy makers to ensure we are not only protecting our ocean, but also the hundreds of people who depend on small-scale fisheries and other marine resources to provide for their families.
Our team consists of marine scientists, conservationists, community & tribal leaders, volunteers and donors who believe in our principles and want to help us fulfill its mission and vision. Our dedicated team bring together different cultures, experiences and knowledge that help us strive towards a common goal. Our team plays a vital role in the initial processes required to establish a non-profit and execute our objectives. Their commitment and dedication to serving Kaknab has allowed the organization to build a strong presence in the states of California, Arkansas and now Washington.