Stewardship of the land is so central to the Hawaiian identity that the State of Hawaii has established as its motto "Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono," translated literally to "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness. One of the most isolated archipelagos on earth, Hawaii is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest landmass, the continental United States. In the millions of years since the islands were formed, they have been gradually eroded and converted from inhospitable hardened lava to beaches, meadows and forests by a combination of wind, rain and tides.

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