History of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund has roots on both Maui and the Big Island (Hawaiʻi Island), although its work now extends statewide and into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National Monument.

Founded in 1996 by two former National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) scientists, Bill Gilmartin and Hannah Bernard, the organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of Hawaiʻi’s native wildlife through research and education. Gilmartin and Bernard, both award-winning marine biologists and conservationists, are also members of government-appointed advisory boards dealing with Hawaiʻi marine and terrestrial issues. These boards and committees include: Society for Marine Mammalogy, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team, Pacific Scientific Review Group, Hawaiʻi Longline False Killer Whale Take Reduction Team and the Hawaiʻi County Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission

The critically endangered status of the Hawaiian monk seal initially drew the two together to form HWF to support NMFS in this species’ re