Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) is the largest Hawaii-based nonprofit marine species conservation and response organization.

Our mission: To undertake substantial actions that result in the preservation, recovery and stewardship of Hawaii’s marine protected species and the ocean ecosystem we share.

Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR) is the largest Hawaii-based nonprofit marine species conservation and response organization. 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 strive to achieve our mission through activity every day of the year that impacts our key objectives: (1) educating the community to grow support, (2) mitigating threats to manage and recover protected species and the ocean, and (3) saving animals that need help. Our six programs described below work synergistically to accomplish these three objectives. Thousands of times each year our outreach, education, field support, interventions, rescue and stranding response activities help us move towards our vision of Hawaii’s ocean ecosystem shared in sustainable harmony by humans and marine protected animals such as Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles and seabirds.

We are proud of our GuideStar “Platinum” Rating. GuideStar is one of the most respected independent rating agencies for non-profits in the United States. Learn how you can volunteer, donate or get involved with Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR). Click here to find out how.

Activity Updates

Over 37,000

phone calls received by our hotlines reporting marine protected animals that may need support.

More than 17,500

instances of field support activity conducted by HMAR volunteers and staff.

More than 220,000

people reached with face-to-face marine conservation outreach and education.

More than 1,200

rescues, interventions or stranding responses conducted for animals that need help.

About Our Work

We focus our efforts on making positive impacts on the human-related threats to marine protected species and our ocean ecosystem in Hawaii. Our animals of primary focus include the rare and endangered Hawaiian monk seal, threatened green and endangered hawksbill sea turtles, and vulnerable seabird species. In partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the State of Hawaii, HMAR works to support protected species preservation, recovery and ocean conservation through six programs that work together to make a positive impact on both the causes and the effects of key threats.

Our Field Support & Outreach (FS&O) Program devotes thousands of hours each year responding to sightings, searching for animals of concern to document their condition, identifying potential health issues and recording observational and other data needed for species population and recovery research. While in the field we engage with thousands of people each year to perform outreach and teach sustainable behaviors, and other actions each person can take to improve stewardship for Hawaii’s protected marine animals and to help ensure long-term species preservation and ocean resilience.

Our Education & Engagement (E&E) Program works in schools, in the community, and with commercial operators to teach people about Hawaii’s protected marine species and actions we can all take to support these protected marine animals and our ocean. This program teaches and inspires people of all ages to make choices and take actions that result in positive change for protected marine animals and our shared ocean ecosystem.

Our Marine Debris Program (MDP) provides outreach to the public, performs collection and transport of shoreline marine debris, works on and under the water to survey for, collect and document marine debris that endangers our ocean ecosystem and the protected marine species that call it home. We reduce marine protected animal deaths and injuries by proactively removing hazards from the ocean environment before they have negative effect. We also collect data on debris types, amounts and accumulation rates so we optimize our activity for maximum results.

Our Rescue & Stranding Response (R&SR) Program is involved in animal intervention activity, stranding response and marine animal rescue to enable medical treatment and rehabilitation. Our actions save marine protected animals from deaths and injuries caused by disease, hookings and entanglement in marine debris. If an animal cannot be saved, our work ensures valuable research can be conducted, and that species management and recovery strategies are further informed and modified to improve long-term species survival.

Our Marine Operations Program (MOP) provides support for our operations in the marine environment or on offshore islets using HMAR vessels and crews. The equipment and resources in this program support HMAR’s Marine Debris Program, our Rescue & Stranding Response Program, and our government partners.

Our Dispatch & Reporting (D&R) Program manages telephone hotlines that receive thousands of calls every year from the public and government agencies so that we can mount the most appropriate field action needed.  This program also records and shares data obtained in the field with government research and species management partners to help conservation and recovery efforts.

Our team of volunteers and interns are at the core of our work.

Without these dedicated and hard-working individuals we could not do the work we do. Our great volunteer team is supported by our management team.

Our partnerships are critical to our success.

Government agencies, private foundations and corporate supporters provide HMAR with important resources.

See some of Our Partners >

Our team of volunteers and interns are at the core of our work.

Without these dedicated and hard-working individuals we could not do the work we do.