Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Accomplishments

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund has been community-driven and volunteer-powered since our inception nearly 25 years ago.  We owe our success to the thousands of people who have joined us in our efforts to recover the health of our marine ecosystem in Hawaiʻi nei.

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund is a highly effective nonprofit organization, run by one full time and one part time staff member.  Dozens of contractors have also contributed significantly to our work.

Together with thousands of volunteers over two decades, we have saved more than 10,500 endangered hawksbill and green sea turtle hatchlings, protected hundreds of threatened green turtles, recovered miles of sensitive native coastal habitat (by removing over 345 tons of marine debris, protecting native plants, and restoring native wildlife), hosted five science symposia, trained hundreds of marine naturalists and interns, reached over 4,000 grade-school students on three islands since 2014, assisted in setting local, national and international marine conservation policy, educated more than a million people about the marine ecosystem… and so much more!

This coming year we will celebrate our 25th year of conservation – hope you can join us!

A few highlights of how Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund made a difference during 2020:  While this past year presented signficant challenges for us all, we were able to adapt to the dynamic COVID-19 management regime and were busier than ever…

    • Participated as lead plaintiffs in two lawsuits to protect local and national marine wildlife health, one of which was decided in our favor at the US Supreme Court in the landmark Hawai’i Wildlife Fund et al., vs. Maui County Clean Water Act case (April 23, 2020).
    • Although we reduced our work with volunteers from March till July to protect our team and volunteers from COVID-19, we continued to clean marine debris off beaches that are important wildlife habitat, and recovered 21,286 pounds (during 45 cleanups) or nearly one ton per month.
    • Protected 11 hawksbill and green turtle nests and guided over 500 sea turtle hatchlings to the ocean on Maui.
    • Partnered with NMFS/PIFSC to place a satellite transmitter on the one nesting hawksbill sea turtle to track her post-nesting.
    • Converted two of our youth education programs to virtual platforms with online classes to Hawai‘i, O‘ahu and Maui students, and completed a brand NEW Hawksbill Sea Turtle Curriculum to share with students / educators on our website and YouTube channel.
    • In total, we reached over 860 students in the 2019-20 school year and summer.
    • Continued to remove invasive plants from along the banks of two coastal wetlands, and within 130 acres of coastal vegetation in the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve (Hawai‘i).
    • Expanded collaborations to identify and evaluate efficient methods of removing invasive fish from native anchialine pool habitats, and made multiple virtual presentations about anchialine pool fauna over 2020.
    • Hosted six different native seed collection workdays which provided seeds from over 20 different dry-forest plants for future restoration efforts with the Hawai‘i Island Seed Bank partnership, and planted five endangered loulu palm trees (Pritchardia maideniana).
    • After more than 20 years, launched a revamped, fully renovated website in September and have been posting new blogs each month – check it out!
    • Worked with our Board and staff of two to create an “Action Plan for Equity” that we will review annually and reflect on any further actions we can take to ensure that HWF offers a safe and equitable experience for our diverse team, volunteers and community members.
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