HWF volunteers monitoring a turtle nest on Maui

Volunteer with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

  • Make A Difference.
  • Help save our fragile marine life and ecosystem.
  • Our dedicated staff and team of volunteers have helped more than 10,000 endangered sea turtle hatchlings reach the ocean.
  • From May – October it’s honu’ea & honu nesting season on Maui! You can volunteer for Dawn Patrol & Nest Protection by emailing mauihonu@wildhawaii.org for more information.
  • Find out more about Honu Watch on Maui.
  • Find out more about Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery.

Our Beaches Won’t Clean Themselves

  • During the last two decades, marine debris, resulting in a pandemic of plastic pollution in the world’s ocean, has become a significant threat to ocean wildlife, and ultimately, to humans.
  • Endangered Hawaiian monk seals, threatened green sea turtles, humpback whales, dolphins and fish often become entangled in nets, fishing lines and other garbage that plague our shores and seas.
  • Even the coral reefs, which support marine ecosystems, can be damaged when debris masses are dragged across the ocean floor by ocean currents and wind.
  • Thanks to donations from people like you we have equipment, like the Hoʻōla One, that can help make a difference with microplastics. See article Hoʻōla One here  “May 2019 – ‘Ho’ōla One’ machine sorts microplastics from Hawaiʻi’s beaches”.
  • And thanks to people like you, we have the power to use it.

Care to join us?

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund is always looking for driven individuals to join us. However, we must offer you the disclaimer that travel to Hawaiʻi is still complicated and has become more expensive (lodging and car rentals and food) as we come out of our second year of COVID-19 management regime. We suggest you carefully evaluate the travel logistics before you commit to our programs and let the travel issues guide your decision whether to come here or not. Here is one site with some insights that may help: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority

We have year-round opportunities to participate in our programs. They include sea turtle projects and the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Discovery Center on Maui, and marine debris cleanups on the Big Island of Hawai’i. On our website you can find links to the various projects our volunteers and interns help out with. Although we work closely with our native species, our approach is to observe, educate and conserve as opposed to handling and interacting.

Mālama Program with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

We’re part of the the Mālama Hawaiʻi Program! Click here to find out more about the program and how you can mālama with us.

Maui Volunteer Opportunities

Native Wildlife Recovery

  • Honu Watch
  • Green Sea Turtle Basking Project
  • Honu Identification Green Sea Turtles (TBA)
  • Sea Turtle Dawn & Night Patrols and Nest Watch, May – October

Habitat Restoration

  • ʻAhupuaʻa Restoration Taro & Fish Farming
  • Turtle Fence Repair & Dune Restoration
  • Marine Debris & Education

Beach Marine Debris Recovery

  • Highway & Special Coastal Cleanups (TBA)
  • Underwater Cleanups (TBA)

Hawai‘i  Wildlife Discovery Center

Hawai‘i (Big Island) Volunteer Opportunities

Native Wildlife Recovery

  • Remote hike-in sea turtle nest watch monitoring (Apr – Dec only)
  • Injured sea turtle response efforts
  • Stranded large cetacean response efforts

Habitat Restoration

  • Kaʻū Community-based Coastal Cleanups (Marine Debris Recovery)
  • Biweekly Net (Recovery) Patrols – for existing volunteers only
  • Underwater Cleanups (TBA)
  • Coastal strand restoration (invasive species removal and native seed collection)
  • Native plant nursery and outplanting (coming soon in 2022!)
  • Anchialine pool and estuary restoration workdays (primarily in Kaʻū)

Environmental Education

  • Hawaiian Coastal Ecosystems Unit (G6-8) – virtual and in-classroom lessons / activities available
  • Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach (G3-5) – virtual and in-classroom lessons / activities available
  • Internship opportunities available for local HS and college-students on a case-by-case basis, please inquire for more info


Volunteers and interns help with beach clean-ups, turtle nest protection and monitoring (summer only), and our daily public outreach program called “Honu Watch.” This project focuses on a unique phenomenon called basking, wherein Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles come up onto the beach to bask; you would be monitoring our Hawaiian Greens population as well as do some community outreach and public education.

During the summer (June-October) our main focus switches to our Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project. Interns and volunteers will assist with daily morning beach walks looking for turtle tracks, nest watch, and hatchling watch.

We also now have the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Discovery Center open at Whalers Village, Kaʻanapali, Maui, which is a dynamic, multi-media education facility that HWF operates and benefits our programs. In some cases, volunteers may be able to join us there, and will receive a separate application for that program. Click here for the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Discovery Center website.

Hawai‘i (Big Island)

On Hawaiʻi Island, we offer monthly community beach cleanup events, environmental education opportunities for youth (in person and virtual), plus native plant seed collection and wetland workdays. However, since August 2020 we have been restricted to hosting smaller groups that are either BYO-4wd or hiking-only (site dependent) to keep our teams safe and socially-distanced.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these activities, please check our website calendar for public participation options, and if there’s an opportunity that you’d be interested in, please email our Hawai‘i Island team to RSVP (or with any additional questions).

For more information, please look under OUR WORK in the menu for the conservation and education work that Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund does.


Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Volunteers