> Dec 3 2017 - Local activists, industry reps testify on sunscreen ban
> Nov 2017 - Men fined for capturing a Hawaiian green sea turtle
> May 25, 2017 - Maui Passes Foam Ban
> May 24, 2017 - Artist donates portion of travel poster proceeds to HWF
> May 9, 2017 - HWF sea turtle sign used at Sea Life Park on Oahu
> May 1, 2017 - HuffPost interviews HWF's Lamson about plastic pollution
> Dec 7, 2016 - Students rise to the Eco Challenge
> Sept 2016 - Multi-Island Marine Debris Removal in the State of Hawaii
> March 15, 2016 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund Celebrates 20 Years
Local activists, industry reps testify on sunscreen ban
Dec 3 2017 - WAILUKU — Saying there is "no such thing as reef-safe sunscreen," representatives from the
Consumer Healthcare Products Association spoke out against Maui County's proposed ban on sunscreen containing certain chemicals at
a Maui County Council meeting Friday.
The bill, introduced by Council Member Elle Cochran, would prohibit the sale and use of sunscreen carrying oxybenzone and octinoxate,
which scientists blame for coral reef damage. It passed out of the Cochran-chaired Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee on
Nov. 13 and was up for a first reading at the full council Friday.
Because of a large amount of public testimony, the council recessed until 9 a.m. Monday without taking action.
Public testimony on agenda items is closed.
Maui County could be the first in the country to enact
such a ban. But that's come with potential legal challenges, which
is why some council members were hesitant to send the bill out of
The majority of residents who addressed the ban on the sunscreen chemicals spoke in support of the bill. Keani Rawlins-Fernandez,
testifying from Molokai, said that the island relies on its extensive fringing reef for subsistence and cultural practices.
Hannah Bernard, executive director of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, acknowledged that sunscreen is not the only thing damaging the reefs,
but she said that "what we can change, we must. Taking the oxybenzone
out of the sunscreen is just one small step we can take," Bernard
said, adding, "Maui has been the leader in taking care of the aina with our plastic bag ban, our polystyrene ban, and now, if we ban oxybenzone in our sunscreens, the whole world will continue to see Maui as the leader in the environmental movement."
Experts at the Nov. 13 committee meeting said that some spots off South and West Maui have exceeded toxic oxybenzone
and octinoxate levels for coral. Craig Downs, executive director of the nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Lab in Virginia,
said the two chemicals can lower the resilience of coral reefs to bleaching and can affect the development of fish and coral larvae.
Sunscreen industry representatives speaking against the ban warned
of "the unintended consequences" to human health of not using
sunscreen and claimed there's "no such thing as reef-safe
sunscreen." They represented the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer
Healthcare Products Association, the national trade association for
manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines and dietary
"I don’t feel there's any detrimental harm to industry,"
Councilwoman Cochran said. "They can continue business as usual. Sell a different product.
We will buy a different product from you, just not that one."
Read article in The Maui News
Men fined for capturing a Hawaiian green sea turtle
November 2017 - Two visitors from the U.S. mainland sparked outrage when they posted a photo
of themselves holding a Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu). The caption of the photo boasted:
"Missing the time we risked a $20,000 fine to catch a sea turtle with our bare hands."
The tourists have now paid a $750 fine for
harassing the helpless marine animal, bringing closure to
this alarming event on a Hawaii Island beach.
On Maui, where green
sea turtles are known to come up onto the beach to bask,
Wildlife Fund's Honu Watch Team is on location protecting them
every day of the year.
"Our team is teaching thousands of people every year how to show
respect for these incredible animals, educating them to view
turtles from at least 10 feet away both on land and in the water,"
Executive Director Hannah Bernard, adding, "As public
awareness rises, behaviors like these are no longer tolerated.”
To report a suspected marine animal violation, please call the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1974
or the DLNR DOCARE statewide hotline: 1-808-643-DLNR (3567). To report marine animal emergencies (including injured or dead sea turtles)
call NOAA’s new statewide reporting number at 1-888-256-9840.
Read More on NOAA's website
Maui Passes Foam Ban
May 25, 2017 - Due to the efforts of Hawaii Wildlife Fund and a
coalition of groups and individuals, the
Maui County Council
unanimously passed a bill to ban the sale and use of polystyrene
foam containers throughout Maui County. The new ban will
at the end of 2019.
"This major victory was a result of years of advocacy in the battle
to reduce toxic marine debris from entering the ocean," HWF Director
The new foam ban followed years of meetings on Maui and
Hawaii Island, culminating in a presentation by
HWF's Megan Lamson before the Maui County Council. Her scientific expertise assisted
the Council's decision.
"This ban is the first of its kind for
the state, and we hope to support similar legislation that is in the
works on Hawaii Island," Lamon said. She coordinates HWF's
Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project.
Other groups instrumental in moving this bill forward were Maui Huliau, Surfrider Foundation
Maui, Swell Consulting and Sharkastics. Join the effort by supporting your local foam-free establishments.
For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist donates portion of travel poster proceeds to HWF
May 24, 2017 - OAHU - "This is the start of a direction I've
been wanting to take my art," explains
artist Benjamin Burch of Los Angeles, when talking about his recently released "Hanauma Bay" travel poster available for purchase online at
Etsy. The 12x16-inch poster is
printed on 190 natural rag archival paper. It is one of a series he
has created that have a Hawaiian theme.
To help Hawaii Wildlife Fund with its work to protect marine wildlife and ecosystems,
Burch is donating 30 percent of the proceeds of 20 prints to HWF. "Each print will be specially numbered with a turtle icon to show you helped the cause,"
he said. "Thank you so much for all your support and like for my work!"
Burke is a professional artist who works primarily in animation
production and illustration, revealing his passion for design and
storytelling through his art.
Visit Burke's Etsy webpage
HWF sea turtle sign used at Sea Life Park on Oahu
May 9, 2017 - OAHU - Hawaii Wildlife Fund
Sea Life Park on Oahu a little help in creating
a new educational sign for the facility's Honu Green Sea Turtle exhibit.
Sea Life Park's new educational display includes the "Resting Zone for Honu" sign that HWF's
Honu Watch Project team created to educate the public about
basking green sea turtles (honu) on Hawaii's beaches. The park chose
the sign to illustrate its "don't harass honu" message.
Green Sea Turtle exhibit is one of many educational exhibits and
interactive programs in the east Oahu attraction, which houses
dolphins, sea lions, rays, sharks, native fish and sea turtles.
View Sea Life Park educational panel
HuffPost interviews HWF's Lamson about plastic pollution
May 1, 2017 - KAMILO POINT - Remote, undeveloped coastlines on the Hawaiian islands are renowned for their natural beauty.
But Kamilo Point, a far-flung beach in the rural Ka'u district of the Big Island, is not.
the island’s southeastern side, Kamilo Point looks like a wasteland, despite its tide pools and pockets of lava rock.
The ocean's currents and powerful trade winds deposit thousands of pounds of man-made trash on this beach each year.
Local organizations, including
Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF), have cleaned these
coastal trash magnets for decades. But, like clockwork, mounds of
trash find their way to the shore.
"The Hawaiian archipelago acts like a sieve, collecting debris that
was floating around the Pacific Ocean and accumulating it along our
shores," Megan Lamson, who coordinates HWF's
Marine Debris Removal Project, told The Huffington Post.
"The solution is not to encourage more people to come to Kamilo to
clean up," she told HuffPost. "The solution will come with [humans]
reducing our dependence to plastics, especially single-use items
that we can do without."
Read full article at Huffington Post
Students rise to the Eco Challenge
Dec 7, 2016 - KOHALA - Five Kohala teens have a good chance of winning $30,000.
Zaz Matsu, Naomi Ney, Nicole Castillo, Maya Anderson and Duncan Anderson are part of Kohala High School's Kohala
Ocean Clean-up Crew. Formed in September as part of the school's new AP environmental science class, the ambitious students
shortly thereafter entered The Lexus Eco Challenge – a national STEM competition for grades 6–12 in which student teams
tackle environmental issues related to land, water, air and climate, and create practical solutions.
In the first phase of the competition, the students set a lofty goal: helping to reverse the flow of small
non-biodegradable plastics, known as micro-plastics, into the ocean where fish, birds and planktons consume them.
The group also participated in the beach clean-up effort at Kamilo Beach in Kau, organized by
Hawaii Wildlife Fund on Oct. 10,
along with Christian Liberty School students. Five hundred pounds of marine debris was collected in several hours.
One of the worst polluted beaches on the island, the crew plans to continue supporting cleanup efforts there.
Read article at West Hawaii Today
Multi-Island Marine Debris Removal in the State of Hawaii
September 2016 - KAMILO POINT - Volunteers at Kamilo Point participated in the International Coastal Cleanup
event and helped to remove 1.71 metric tons (3,765 pounds) of marine debris from a 1km stretch of coastline on Hawai'i Island.
Hawai'i Wildlife Fund (HWF) is working with neighbor island partners and the NOAA Marine Debris Program to conduct community-based marine debris
cleanup events and patrols along remote stretches of Hawai'i, Kaua'i, Maui, and Lana'i coastlines.
With the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program
Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant, HWF is partnering with
Surfrider Foundation – Kaua'i Chapter and
Pulama Lana'i to remove marine debris from the impacted coastlines.
Read full article at NOAA Marine Debris website
Hawaii Wildlife Fund Celebrates 20 Years
March 15, 2016 - HAWAII ISLAND – (Big Island Video News) Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a volunteer-powered non-profit dedicated to
conservation of native wildlife, is celebrating
20 years of community education, activism and conservation work.
Hawaii Wildlife Fund was founded March 16, 1996, and was initially focused on the critically endangered
Hawaiian monk seal and
hawksbill sea turtle.
Today, the organization's work includes outreach
education and community-based
"We bring a variety of experiences together to serve a common goal," said co-founder
Bill Gilmartin in a media release.
"Although we are a small organization, we combine our like-minded passions and great things happen. Please join us to celebrate two
decades of conservation work and community outreach."
On Hawaii Wildlife Fund's website, a new video kicks off the 20th anniversary,
showing students from Hawaii and California working together during a
field trip. The video features an effort to address the environmental effects of Styrofoam.
The non-profit also launched its first-ever crowd funding campaign. HWF says the goal of Protecting Maui’s Green Sea Turtles is $20,000.
The campaign runs through May 7, 2016.
Read article at Big Island Video News