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Cleaning marine debris off the beaches of Hawaii is one of the many projects that
Hawaii Wildlife Fund engages in to help protect our native wildlife.


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 - This summer and fall, Hawaii Wildlife Fund's turtle team helped shepherd 650 endangered hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings into the sea on Maui. > WATCH VIDEO

For the 21st year, our staff and volunteers held 24/7 onsite vigils to guard each of these important nests waiting for the hatchlings to emerge. The team then protects the hatchlings as they race to the sea. We work to allow the process to occur as naturally as possible, stepping in only when an outside factor such as predators (mongoose, ghost crabs) or human disturbance, such as artificial lights that can confuse the tiny reptiles, come into play.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund is the only nonprofit organization in the state permitted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, and funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, to conduct research and recovery efforts on Hawaii’s protected sea turtles. There are a dozen female hawksbills known to nest on Maui, and only about 100 in the whole Hawaiian archipelago.

Want to help? Our last nest watch was completed in early 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.


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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 from our own backyard. Visitors to Hawaii can help, too. Start by checking your sunscreen label.
   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. 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.
  HWF's success depends on our volunteers, donors and the community. This spring, we expanded into the global community with on-stage recognition and support from Grammy Award-winning musicians Bonnie Raitt, Michael Franti and the performers at Ocean Aid.
   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 from 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.

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