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Start planning now to join our 2019 Micronesia Expedition

Part of Hawaii Wildlife Fund's mission is to clean beaches and restore native habitat.


HWF's Turtle Team members pose with regulatory agency representatives during a recent turtle hatchling release on Maui. Photo: John Rodarte
HWF's Turtle Team members pose with regulatory agency representatives during a recent turtle hatchling release on Maui. Photo: John Rodarte

MAUI, HAWAII - In 2017, Hawaii Wildlife Fund's turtle team helped shepherd 650 endangered hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings into the sea on Maui. > WATCH VIDEO

Since 1996, HWF has worked (under permits from government regulatory agencies) to monitor rare hawksbill nesting events on Maui. On average, only one or two females nest each year across the island. During the past 21 years, our team has been on site to ensure that 9,000 hatchlings made it safely to their ocean home.

HWF's staff and volunteers hold 24/7 vigils at these important nests, camping beside the nest and waiting for the hatchlings to emerge. We support the hatchlings' natural process as they emerge and crawl into the sea. We protect them from invasive predators like rats and mongoose and from human disturbances like beach traffic and artificial light which can endanger or disorient hatchlings.

Want to help? Our last nest watch was completed in October, but it's not too late! Make a donation to help us send our Hawksbill Recovery Project coordinator, Luke Sundquist, to Japan to present our research findings at the 2018 International Sea Turtle Symposium. We must combine our efforts across the world to protect this critically endangered species.

To volunteer for our turtle program next year, please email Mahalo nui loa for all our hardworking volunteers who gave up countless hours of sleep to help the newest generation of hawksbills begin their journey of life.



You can help prevent ocean pollution, wherever you live.

By Hannah Bernard, HWF Executive Director

Ocean pollution is a global problem, but we can help in our own backyard. Visitors to Hawaii can help, too. Start by checking your sunscreen label and choose non-nano zinc and/or titanium oxide which are reef-friendly ingredients.
   When we think of pollution we often think of trash. And HWF is certainly addressing that issue through beach and reef cleanups. But chemicals also hurt reefs and destroy water quality.
   Scientific studies have shown that sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone can kill coral. Now that we know better, we must do better.
  In recent years, we have lost 50 percent of one species of coral in Hawaii due to coral bleaching caused by warming water temperatures. Diving in Hawaii for the past 26 years, I have witnessed it with my own eyes. Globally, the ocean is changing. Locally, we must do everything we can to protect our reefs any way we can.
   According to the Environmental Working Group, governmental studies have also linked oxybenzone to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage in humans. What's bad for the reef is likely bad for us all.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund works to protect our reefs on multiple levels.

Our team spends a lot of time in the field but we also actively testify as expert witnesses and educate people about enacting laws to protect our island environment.
  We started by supporting community-based fisheries management areas, then we campaigned for Maui's plastic bag ban. We joined a lawsuit to prevent polluted wastewater from entering the ocean. And recently, HWF's efforts were integral to Maui becoming the first island to pass a polystyrene food container ban. And now, Hawaii Island has passed the same ban.
   Our most recent effort has been to educate and persuade our elected officials to pass a ban on sunscreens that are hurting our reefs.
   But we still need your support. Coral reefs are dying. We are witnessing that firsthand here in Hawaii. Federal funds that protect our ocean are being slashed. Now, more than ever, it's imperative that everyone get involved.
   You can help in your own backyard. You can also help by making a Donation today.

Me ke aloha pumehana,
- Hannah


For those who are passionate about the ocean, Hawaii Wildlife Fund offers a unique giving opportunity. When a loved one passes away, in lieu of flowers or gifts, you may donate in his or her honor through our website. The funds will continue HWF's efforts to help ensure a healthier ocean for future generations.

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Hawai'i Wildlife Fund       PO Box 790637 Paia, HI 96779      808.280.8124
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