NEW YORK - Wednesday is World Oceans Day and the Hokule'a is a big part of the celebration at the United Nations in New York.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon spoke about the message in a bottle he presented to Nainoa Thompson aboard the Hokule'a -- a declaration to protect the ocean.

"Captain Nainoa, I wish you and your entire crew a wonderful return journey," said Ki-moon, who sailed on Hokule'a in Apia, Samoa in 2014. "I count on your leadership and commitment as we carry out our plans to make this world safer and more sustainable for all. On World Oceans Day, let us renew our resolve to protect these marine treasures for generations to come."

The Hokule'a was honored with dance and an 'awa ceremony before the morning wrapped up with the group joining in song for "Hawai'i Aloha."

Later in the afternoon, Thompson joined Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and representatives of the Federated States of Micronesia, for a talk-story session on the U.N.'s Ocean Agenda and goals. The leaders also discussed development regarding the negotiation of a new legally binding instrument to protect biodiversity in marine areas in the high seas.

After today's events, Hokule'a crew members will continue their outreach and engagement activities in New York, in which they will lead, participate in, and support the following events:

  • Thursday, June 9: Hokulea Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New York SoHo
  • Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge