Peter passed away May 9th, 2011. Born in Newburgh, N.Y., he spent the better part of his adult life as an activist for environmental issues.
Since joining Sea Grant in 1979, his life’s work was dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the environment, especially Hanauma Bay. Peter worked tirelessly to see the Education Center built and was the HBEP Program Leader for a number of years.
He retired as a Coastal Community Extension Agent for UH Sea Grant at the end of 2010. Even after retirement, he continued to help organize Hanauma Bay Clean Ups for the Friends of Hanauma Bay.
He helped organize the first statewide Earth Day celebration in Hawai‘i that remains an annual event. Working with many other environmental groups and causes, he was well recognized for his contributions by organizations and his peers.
The Conservation Council of Hawai‘i presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and last year the Department of Urban and Regional Planning named him “Planner of Year.” He also received the Chair’s Special Award for his work with the National Sea Grant organization.
A memorial service was held in Peter’s honor here at Hanauma Bay on June 28th and his ashes were scattered in the Bay. Through generous donations from the FOHB, friends and colleagues, a bench in his memory now resides down at the beach, alongside a bench dedicated to his friend and fellow bay supporter Harvey Shapiro.
He was passionate and dedicated to the Bay, and at the same time a loving husband and father who will be truly missed by everyone who knew him. He is survived by wife Myrtle Ching-Rappa, daughter Adriana, stepson Jason Ching, hanai son Blaison Hazard, parents Peter and Adriana, brother Victor, sister Mary J. Mumford and two grandchildren.