2019 Activity Update

2019 Was The Biggest Year Yet for HMAR

Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) is the largest Hawaii-based nonprofit marine species conservation and response organization. Now in our 5th year, we work on the islands of Oahu and Molokai with our team of dedicated volunteers, interns and staff that are supported by private donations, corporate funding and government grants.

We focus our efforts on protected marine species in Hawaii that are most likely to be impacted by human-related threats due to their natural behaviors and habitat and the ocean ecosystem these animals call home. These species include the rare and endangered Hawaiian monk seal, threatened green and endangered hawksbill sea turtles and several marine seabird species. Our government partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the State of Hawaii.

We work to achieve our mission through activity every day of the year that impacts our three key objectives: (1) growing active and engaged community support, (2) managing and increasing the populations of protected marine species, and (3) saving animals that need help. At HMAR we believe it's important to measure our progress on these three objectives by tracking our "Key Operations Indicators" so we can be confident that our programs are having the largest impact possible.

Thousands of times each year, our field response, outreach, education, escalations, rescue and stranding support activities help us move towards our vision of Hawaii’s ocean ecosystem shared in sustainable harmony by humans and protected marine animals such as Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles and seabirds.

Here are our Key Operations Indicators for 2019.

  • In 2019, we received over 4,150 calls into our hotlines. These calls were to report sightings of protected marine animals, many of which were animals in need of support. This represents a 70% increase in monthly hotline activity since 2016 and shows that our work to raise awareness of protected marine animal issues is having a positive effect. People care more so they call more. To date, we have taken over 12,500 calls on our hotlines.
  • HMAR team members were engaged in field related activities more than 5,000 times in 2019. This is a 127% increase in monthly field activity since 2016 and shows we're out there in the field assessing the condition of animals, collecting valuable data and observations for research, monitoring vulnerable animals, looking for animals of concern, finding animals that may have a health problem, and conducting outreach. Since our start, we have conducted over 12,300 field related actions.
  • 2019 was a year in which we performed 310 Hawaiian monk seal, sea turtle and seabird escalations, interventions and rescues. This is a 396% increase in monthly activity since 2016 and shows our work is helping to save animals in need. To date, we have engaged in more than 750 animal escalations, interventions, rescues and stranding responses.
  • Our volunteers and staff worked over 27,700 hours in 2019. This is a 124% increase in monthly hours since 2016.  We're accomplishing more because we are working harder than ever.
  • In 2019, our team members engaged in outreach or education activity with members of the public over 108,500 times.  This is a 390% increase in monthly outreach and education activity since 2016. We're creating active supporters of our protected marine animals and the ocean ecosystem, and the people we meet are taking actions to help. Since 2016, we have reached over 260,000 people with face-to-face outreach and education.

Help us continue this important work.  Donate to our cause or join our volunteer team.  Click HERE to learn more.  

We thank you for your support!


New Volunteer Orientation Classes

You can help in the conservation, stewardship and recovery of Hawaii’s protected marine species and our important ocean ecosystem.

Are you interested in joining one or more of our volunteer teams? We offer fun and rewarding experiences working in the field to support Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, seabirds and our shared ecosystem.

We also have other great ways to help out by joining our Education & Engagement team or our Dispatch & Reporting teams.

To help on any of these volunteer teams, there is a 4-step process:

(1)  Please complete the online volunteer application form HERE. You cannot attend the orientation class until you have completed a volunteer application and the required pre-work and quizzes (further information below).

(2)  After you have completed the online application, you will need to spend some time finishing some pre-work reading and quizzes so that you are equipped with all of the information you will need to be an effective volunteer and be ready. To find out what pre-work and quiz(zes) you need to complete, please GO HERE. The pre-work needed is dependent on which HMAR program(s) you wish to participate in. You will need to do the pre-work, take and pass the necessary quiz(zes) with a score of 90% or higher before you can attend the orientation class.

(3)  Once completing your pre-work and passing any needed quiz(zes) with a 90% or higher result, you may attend our orientation class. When new volunteer orientation class are scheduled, you will be sent an invitation if you have completed the application process above. Space is limited in the classes and you must RSVP to attend the class as they fill up quickly, but remember that your RSVP cannot be accepted until you have completed your application (see above), the necessary pre-work and taken and passed the applicable quiz(zes). PLEASE do not RSVP unless you have completed all pre-work and quizzes and you are sure you will attend the class.

(4)  Following the orientation class, we will set up your field training. That way, you’ll be confident, effective and have the most fun possible while helping in species conservation and recovery.