Hawaii is characterized by high levels of endemism in both its native animals and plants, with over 10,000 species found nowhere else on earth. Although thousands of Hawaiian species have yet to be described, the estimated number of native species is thought to include more than 14,000 terrestrial, 100 freshwater, and 6,500 marine taxa. Unique and varied habitats are also found across the islands. As a result, Hawaii presents both an opportunity and a challenge for conservation.

Human induced impacts have resulted in loss, fragmentation, and degradation of habitats and species as a result of: development and shoreline alterations, alteration of hydrology, recreational over use, climate change, invasive species, insufficient management and compliance.


Historical examples

-Commission survey of rare plants in Kānepuʻu Dryland Forest, Lānaʻi

-Partner with the National Wildlife Federation to produce the first Hawaiʻi wildlife poster for Hawaiʻi schools and schoolchildren; dozens of posters have since been produced and distributed to public, charter, and private schools throughout Hawaiʻi
-Support creation of State Natural Area Reserves System to protect highly unique ecosystems and geologic sites for future generations

-Oppose ʻōhiʻa logging in Puna, Hawaiʻi Island
-Oppose koa logging in Kokeʻe, Kauaʻi



-Establish ʻAhahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi – Native Hawaiians for the Protection of Native Hawaiian Species

-Establish Youth for Environmental Servcies

-Establish Save the Sea Turtles International



-Successfully help secure permanent* funding for the State Natural Area Reserves System

-File a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the industry-driven Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and call for a federal investigation of WESPAC

-Obtain grants to produce wildlife viewing signs and protect native marine species and ecosystems

-Support a statewide ban on lay gillnets to protect monk seals, honu, sharks, seabirds, coral, and other bycatch from this indiscriminate and highly damaging fishing method

-Launch campaign to raise awareness about marine debris



-Help obtain federal funding to remove lead paint and stop lead poisoning of mōlī(Laysan albatross) chicks

-Successfully support the expansion of the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve to include 6,600 acres in the Kulani Forest for native species protection and restoration


-Successfully help oppose industrial scale development of wind turbines on Lānaʻi and associated infrastructure, including an interisland cable, which would have resulted in significant and irreparable impacts to native ecosystems and species and their habitat

-Raise awareness about rare and unique ecosystems and resources found in anchialine ponds and their vulnerability to human impacts from development, pollution, and invasive species introductions

-File successful lawsuit to enforce the Hawaiʻi Environmental Policy Act and halt the unlimited commercial collection of reef fish for the aquarium industry, until a required environmental review is completed

–Partner with Patagonia to sponsor Wild & Scenic Film Festival featuring films to bring together communities and environmental organizations from across the U.S. through film

-Co-sponsor and support the successful passage of National Wildlife Federation resolution to urge ecosystem-based management of foragefish

-File and successfully settle lawsuit against the approval of a five-year proposal by the U.S. Navy for sonar testing projected to harm 9.6 million marine mammals and sea turtles in the Pacific, including hundreds of projected marine mammal and sea turtle deaths and 2,000 permanent injuries to specimens of these otherwise protected species

-Support the successful selection of Hawaiʻi as the location for the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Conference, as well as the planning and execution of the Conference

-Co-sponsor presentation of Phd dissertation on spinner dolphin tourism and tourist interactions in Kona, Hawaiʻi Island and Waiʻanae, Oʻahu at the Society for Marine Mammologyʻs 20th Biennial Conference of the Marine Mammals in Dunedin, New Zealand

-Co-sponsor first annual Aloha Kanaloa Festival in Hilo, Hawaiʻi Island

-Co-sponsor first annual World Oceans Day Hawaiʻi Festival in Honolulu, Oʻahu

-Serve as integral part of coalitions organized to successfully support the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, with the latter becoming the largest (at the time) marine protected area in the world

-Support National Park Serviceʻs Keauhou Aquifer groundwater management area designation petition to protect ecologically and culturally significant anchialine ponds, traditional Hawaiian fishponds, and coastal habitat from unprecedented planned development in Kona, Hawaiʻi Island

-Support shift in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary programming from a species-specific to an ecosystem-based marine management approach

-Successfully help defeat nomination of land developer to the head of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources tasked with upholding the public trust in Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources

-Organize opposition against continued dewatering of 100+ streams for industrial sugar cultivation in Central Maui

-Co-sponsor and support the successful passage of National Wildlife Federation resolutions supporting the Expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and Rapid Impact Assessments for Wildlife Impacted by Natural Disasters

-Work with U.S. Solicitor General in a complaint and investigation regarding illegal lobbying by WESPAC director Kitty Simonds to oppose the expansion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument

-Partner with National Wildlife Federation to organize and host inaugural and hugely successful Manu o Kū Festival in Honolulu, Oʻahu to celebrate the native white fairy tern and the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act