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Welcome to the National Marine Sanctuaries web site. Here you'll discover the marine life and extraordinary habitats that make up your nation's marine sanctuaries and our continuing efforts to conserve these ocean and coastal treasures.


Please note:

The Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting that was scheduled for May 18, 2015 at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu has been cancelled. Stay tuned for the rescheduled meeting date.


Following extensive collaboration with partners including non-governmental organizations, businesses, scientists, and other members of the community, NOAA has announced its proposed rule for expanding the size and the focus of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to include multiple marine species. The proposal is the result of a multi-year collaborative effort that involved considerable input from all sectors of the local community.


  Members of the public are invited to submit comments to the agency on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement now through June 19.


Follow the Sanctuary's Management Plan Review

  • Skyview of the Hawaiian Islands
  • Sanctuary boundaries
  • Kihei Visitor Center
  • Volunteers count whales on Kaua'i
  • Hands-on learning with school groups
  • Ed Lyman uses telementry to locate a humpback whale
  • Blessing the sanctuary response boat R/V Kohola
  • Windsurfers recreate in the sanctaury
  • NOAA's Daniel K Inouye Regional Center
  • The R/V Kohola on the water near Honolulu
  • Maritime Heritage research in the sanctuary
  • Unique seascapes in Hawai'i
  • A Hawaiian green sea turtle
  • Slate pencil urchin
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal
  • Humpback Whales
  • Hawaiian cultural practices take place in the sanctuary
  • Volunteers take part in the Sanctuary Ocean Count project
  • Sanctuary engages with members of the community
  • The Sanctuary Advisory Council are members of our communities
  • Honoring our dedicated and hard working volunteers
  • Engaging communities throughout Hawai'i- including the Worldwide Voyage
  • Mahalo Nui Loa

Latest Sanctuary News & Features

arrow Volunteers count whales in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary during 20th Anniversary Ocean Count
arrow Sanctuary Ocean Count March 2015 preliminary results
arrow NOAA proposes expanding focus, boundaries of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
arrow Sanctuary Hosts Advisory Council Meeting in Honolulu
arrow Spring 2015 Sanctuary Advisory Council Recruitment
Support the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
Visit our Visitor Center in Kihei, Maui
Watch whales in the sanctuary
breaching humpback whale
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Revised March 02, 2015 by HIHWNMS Webmaster
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