Hawaii Wildlife Fund   Contact Us Hawaiian Islands map
Hawaii Wildlife Fund
  preserving Hawaii's native wildlife
Home   About Us   Marine Life   Projects   Education   Support   What's New   Partners  
 
   Maui Reef Fund

 
Home > Projects

HWF Projects

Hawai'i Wildlife Fund leads research, monitoring and conservation efforts to help protect Hawai'i’s fragile marine ecosystem. Interested? Please email us at wild@aloha.net. Mahalo!

CONSERVATION PROJECTS
   > Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project
   > HWF Honu Watch Project
   > Hawaiian Monk Seal projects
   > Makai Watch
   > Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal
   > Maui Marine Debris Removal Project
   > Adopt-A-Highway on Maui Project
   > Waiohinu – Ka`u Forest Reserve Protection
   > Managing Better Together Learning Network
   > Maui Reef Fund

> Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project
HWF has been conducting research and monitoring the nesting activities of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) since 1996. Hawksbill foraging - photo by Jeff Kuehn There are fewer than 100 adult female hawksbills known to nest in all of Hawai‘i. The species is listed as endangered in Hawai‘i and worldwide and needs our protection. Through conservation efforts, public awareness, beachfront lighting reductions, fence repairs, dune restoration, beach cleanups, radio and satellite telemetry, coordination of a Turtle Watch program, and determining in-water distribution and abundance, HWF is helping to save hawksbills and their nesting habitats.
   > VOLUNTEER WITH HWF
   > TURTLES

> HWF Honu Watch Project
Through its Honu Watch program, Hawaii Wildlife Fund monitors basking honu (turtles) to educate the community about the phenomenon called "basking," a rare behavior in which green sea turtles crawl ashore for reasons other than nesting. No other species of sea turtles are known to bask and the behavior has been documented only in Hawai‘i and Resting Zone For Honu sign - click to enlargeAustralia. Basking turtles are common in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands but are seen on a more limited basis around the main Hawaiian Islands, which is where HWF's Honu Watchers help protect the turtles.

Turtles are especially vulnerable while basking on shore. Possible reasons for the behavior are that basking allows turtles to rest, raise their body temperature and/or to avoid predators (sharks). There may be other health-related benefits that are currently not understood, possibly linked to fibropapillomatosis, so it's important that the basking turtles are never disturbed. Show turtles aloha. Please report baskers by calling 808-643-3567 so that their health can be assessed, and do not approach closer than 15 feet (5 meters). Flash photography disturbs them, so please take pictures without flash. Dogs can injure turtles, so please keep them leashed.
   > JOIN OUR TURTLE TEAM
   > HWF TURTLE BROCHURE (PDF)
   > NOAA TURTLE SIGN (JPG)
   > HWF BASKING HONU SIGN (JPG)

> Hawaiian Monk Seal projects
From 1996 to 2007, HWF voluntarily coordinated the Monk Seal Watch on Maui, educating the monk seal on beach - photo by Carrie Robertsonpublic and protecting monk seal "haulouts". After one year of service as HWF's Monk Seal Watch Coordinator, Nicole Davis was hired through the National Marine Fisheries Service to continue this work with federal funding and to coordinate strandings on Maui. Volunteers with the Monk Seal Watch create a "safety zone" around hauled out seals, marking the area with yellow tape and standing guard to ensure the animals are not disturbed.
   > SEALS

Seal Research:
  • HWF is currently assisting National Marine Fisheries Service in establishing a Main Hawaiian Islands photo ID catalogue.
  • HWF's co-founder, Bill Gilmartin, coordinated the relocation of aggressive male monk seals from the Northwestern Islands to the Main Hawaiian Islands in an effort to reduce the "mobbing" of females by males during breeding.
  • HWF conducted monk seal research on Midway Atoll for three years in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The resulting data are used by the National Marine Fisheries Service to assist in the recovery of this unique and endangered species.

Back to top

> Makai Watch
Makai Watch is a coastal area monitoring and protection initiative that grew from a collaborative effort of community organizations, volunteers, conservation groups and state agencies. Now officially sanctioned by the State of Hawaii, Makai Watch works to restore and sustain Hawaii's coastal resources through community involvement. © CHERYL KINGThe goal of Makai Watch is to enhance the management of near-shore marine resources by providing community members opportunities to become directly involved in this management. In 2003, Hawai'i Wildlife Fund established Maui's first Makai Watch at Ahihi Kina'u Natural Area Reserve and Keoneo'i'o. In 2009, The state ranger’s program replaced Makai Watch there. HWF is currently on the Steering Committee and assisting in the State DLNR’s revision of the Makai Watch program structure.
   > MAKAI WATCH BROCHURE (PDF)

> Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project

The mega-gyre of floating plastic estimated to be larger than the state of Texas is pouring a steady stream of marine debris on certain beaches of Hawai’i. At South Point (Ka Lae) of Hawai’i Island (Big Island), HWF has cleaned more than 100 tons of marine debris from these Marine debris removal - click to enlargeremote beaches during the last four years. This coastline is visited by endangered Hawaiian monk seals, humpback whales, and nested on by the endangered hawksbill turtle.

HWF organized the first community shoreline cleanups here in 2003 and the effort has been continuous since. Over the past year, HWF has helped to remove more than 12 tons of marine debris from this nine-mile stretch of coastline.

The big problem is that the debris keeps coming ashore at a rate we’ve estimated to be 15-20 tons per year. HWF truck full of nets - click photo to enlargeMost of the large bundles of net, many weighing well over 1,000 pounds, are removed with special equipment we’ve built, and HWF works with Matson to ship the net and line to Honolulu where it is used to generate electricity in a trash-to-energy conversion plant (H-Power). HWF takes all of the other trash, including the 2,000+ bags of small plastic items collected to date, to the county for burial in a landfill.

Volunteers are a critical part of this shoreline effort and they’ve come from all over – the island, the state, the world – to participate.

To get involved in HWF's marine debris program, please contact
Megan Lamson (808) 769-7629, kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
   > MARINE DEBRIS
   > 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP (PDF)
   > WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE MARINE DEBRIS IN HAWAII (PDF)

Back to top

> Maui Marine Debris Removal Project

HWF has adopted Waiehu’s Ka‘ehu Beach on the northwest coastline of Maui. The adoption is in collaboration with the community and with NOAA’s tsunami monitoring program. HWF and other community groups have been cleaning marine debris from Ka‘ehu for years, but it keeps washing ashore.

Ka'ehu Waiehu Coastal Cleanups: 4th Sunday of every monthIn preparation for the expected arrival of the Japanese tsunami debris, HWF will be conducting regular research activities and cleanups at this site on the 4th Sunday of every month (from 9am-1ish) for at least the next two years.

The first tsunami debris items have been confirmed in Hawaii, so we are especially on the lookout! We’ve discovered green sea turtle nesting activity here in 2007, 2009 and 2012, so it becomes even more important to clean the beach for the turtles! View clean up photos in HWF's FaceBook Album: Ka‘ehu, Waiehu Maui Cleanups.

Back to top

> Adopt-A-Highway on Maui ProjectAdopt-A-Highway on Maui

Hawaii Wildlife Fund adopted a two-mile stretch of highway near Ho'okipa Beach Park, a famous break for windsurfing and surfing on Maui's north shore. In addition to the world-class athletes that flock to Ho'okipa, Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles use this important area for foraging, resting and nesting. HWF's team educates the public about the animals' needs and helps ensure the animals are not disturbed by well-intentioned beach goers. To help keep this beautiful area trash free, HWF cleans the section of Hana Highway from Maliko Gulch to Mama’s Fish House.
   > VOLUNTEER

Back to top

> Waiohinu – Ka`u Forest Reserve Protection

The natural and cultural resources of a coastal strand along the southeast Hawaii Island came to the attention of Hawaii Wildlife Fund in 2001 with the birth of a monk seal pup on the beach.HWF is working to restore anchialine ponds to native ecosystems

At that time, this very large tract of land in the forest reserve of Ka'u was being leased for cattle grazing. Coastal access was extremely difficult over five miles of soft volcanic ash and very treacherous lava fields. The 1,300 coastal acres included over three dozen species of native Hawaiiian plants (one endangered), fields of Hawaiian petroglyphs, and four anchialine ponds (nearshore pools fed underground by both fresh and sea water - unique in the US to Hawai'i).

HWF initiated action to protect this resource-rich site by working with state agencies to facilitate a transfer of the coastal strand from grazing lease to “forest reserve” status, an action that was approved by the Hawai'i Board of Land and Natural Resources in 2005. HWF paid for the boundary survey and other costs of formal subdivision to complete the transfer.

> Managing Better Together Learning Network
HWF works with several other Hawaii-based non-government organizations to coordinate the bi-annual meetings of community marine management practitioners across the Main Hawaiian Islands. This "Managing Better Together (MBT) Learning Network" brings together coastal communities from around the Main Hawaiian Islands to enhance community-based marine management in the areas where participants live. Through the network, community members build skills and share their ideas, experiences and lessons learned through workshops, meetings and exchange visits.

MBT Learning Network accomplishments include:

  • Annual workshops since 2004 drawing about 80 community practitioners, local non-government organizations, state government officials and elected representatives.
  • At least five exchange visits annually which bring community members to project sites on other islands to learn first-hand about those projects.
  • Annual meetings for community representatives since 2005 drawing about 40 participants to address plans and goals for the MBT Learning Network and each community.

> Maui Reef Fund
   > MAUI REEF FUND

Back to top


 
 
Related Links
> Volunteer
> Turtles
> Seals
> Coral Reefs
> Marine Threats
HWF Maui Brochure - click to open PDF
> HWF Maui Brochure PDF
HWF Turtle Brochure - click to open PDF
> HWF Turtle Brochure PDF
Hawksbill Brochure PDF
> Hawksbill Brochure PDF

> Marine Debris Postcard

> Maui Beach Cleanups JPG
Sharkastics website
> Sharkastics website
Hawai'i Wildlife Fund    •   PO Box 790637 Paia, HI 96779   •   808.280.8124    •   wild@aloha.net   •   http://wildhawaii.org
Site by Third Coast Photo & Web      •      Legal Disclosure      •      Site Map