Youth Plaintiffs

Navahine youth voices were heard and met with direct action! Their bravery, perseverance and hope secured a climate victory for young people and all people in Hawai‘i, and around the world.

Youth Plaintiff

Charlotte M.

Age: 14
Hometown: Kailua, O‘ahu

Charlotte and her ‘ohana (family) enjoy bonding and doing activities in Hawai‘i such as surfing, swimming, and snorkeling, but extreme precipitation events have led to repeat sewage overflows on the Windward side that can cause illness and severe skin infections, preventing Charlotte and her ‘ohana from accessing and enjoying the ocean for up to a week at a time.

Charlotte’s neighborhood is quite tucked away, with only one way to get in and out, and have experienced flooding making it difficult to leave the neighborhood in a small car.

When visiting Big Island in 2021, Charlotte’s and her ‘ohana, including her grandparents and aunts, stayed at the Marriott in Waikoloa. They noticed ash drifting by outside, and a massive fire very close to where they were staying. Luckily, they didn’t have to evacuate, but had to stay inside to avoid the air pollution and wait out the fire. Later they realized that the fire had burned over 40,000 acres of Big Island, the largest in the island’s history.

Charlotte decided to join the lawsuit because she wants to help future generations by starting to minimize climate change so that they have happier and better lives.

I know we’re not going to be able to stamp this out immediately, but I also know that every bit of work we do with this case helps. Because, honestly, who’s going to do it if we don’t?

—Charlotte M.