Sanctuary Advisory Council Members
Non-governmental Members (Voting) and Alternates
Business/Commerce: (vacant) and Thorne Abbott
Commercial Shipping: Glenn Hong and James Kelleher
Conservation: Makaʻala Kaaumoana (Vice Chair) and Hōkū Cody
Education: Judy Lemus (Secretary) and Carlie Wiener
Fishing: Rick Gaffney and Philip Fernandez
Native Hawaiian: (vacant) and Sabra Kauka
Ocean Recreation: Jim Coon
Research: Mark Deakos and Jens Currie
Tourism: (vacant) and Magan Schifiliti
Whale Watching: Tara Leota and Geoffrey Wall
Youth Seat (non-voting):Clarissa Honeker and Anabelle Padilla
Hawaiʻi Island: Steve Turner and Gabriel Hsu
Oʻahu Island: (vacant)
Kauaʻi Island: Nina Monasevitch and Kim Rogers
Lānaʻi Island: Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala (Chair) and (vacant)
Maui Island: Robin Newbold and (vacant)
Molokaʻi Island: (vacant)
State Government (Non-Voting)
Office of Hawaiian Affairs (voting): Keola Lindsey and Brad Kaʻaleleo Wong
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism: Veronica Rocha
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources: Bruce Anderson
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation - Harbors Division: Sandra Rossetter
State of Hawaiʻi Office of Planning: Leo Asuncion
Federal Government (Non-Voting)
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent:
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument :Superintendent Athline Clark and David Swatland
National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office: Jeff Walters
National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement: OLE Representative: Jeffrey Pollack
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Tunis McElwain
U.S. Coast Guard: Eric Roberts
U.S. Navy: Janice Fukawa
Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council (voting): Eric Kingma
Click here to download a pdf of past Sanctuary Advisory Council Members.
Click here to see the Sanctuary Advisory Council Subcomittees
Advisory Council Member Biographies and Contact Information
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Bio coming soon!
Brad Kaʻaleleo Wong
Office of Hawaiian Affairs (Alternate)
Brad Kaʻaleleo Wong is the Papahānaumokuākea Program Specialist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and his background is in marine conservation, obtaining a B.S. in Marine Biology from California State University Long Beach. He has worked for several organizations doing conservation and environmental restoration work including Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, and Hui Kū Maoli Ola. In his spare time Brad paddles, coaches, and is on the board of directors for Kailua Canoe Club, enjoys surfing, and is a volunteer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a crew member aboard the voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia.
Western Pacific Regional
Fisheries Management Council
Eric has represented the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on the Sanctuary Advisory Council since 2003. Prior to his current position with the fishery council, Eric worked as a humpback whale naturalist on Maui and worked for the US Coast Guard as a marine resource policy analyst in Honolulu. Eric was born on Kauaʻi, is married with two hapa keiki, and lives in Kailua, Oʻahu.
Eric Roberts is the Marine Protected Resources Program Manager for the U.S. Coast Guard's Fourteenth District, located in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and a 2001 graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi's Master of Public Administration program with a concentration in oceanography. He is responsible for developing policy and overseeing Coast Guard law enforcement operations supporting the protection of Marine Protected Species and Marine Protected Areas throughout the western and central Pacific Ocean. Eric coordinates District Fourteen's Marine Protected Species conservation response program under the national Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, and is a member of the Large Whale Entanglement Response Network, the Pacific Islands Marine Mammal Response Network, and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team. Eric serves as the primary representative to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa Advisory Council, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Gabriel M. Hsu
Seat: Hawaiʻi Island Representative (Alternate)
Gabriel Hsu has been living on Hawaiʻi Island for over 7 years. He graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science from University of Hawai'i at Hilo in 2015 where he has had the opportunity to perform individual research on local humpback whales. During his time on the island he has worked for the Hilo Marine Mammal Response Network protecting all local marine life and at Dolphin Quest as an educator where has worked with many local teachers. As a strong advocate of citizen science and community involvement, Gabriel hopes to inspire other students and young scientists to get involved with local conservation.
Glenn K. Y. Hong
Seat: Commercial Shipping
Mr. Glenn K. Y. Hong, from Honolulu, Hawaii graduated in 1970 from the University of
Southern California with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.
Upon graduation, he joined the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Honolulu as a staff auditor. Mr. Hong had assignments in audit, taxation and management consulting during his four years with the firm. He obtained his certification in public accountancy (CPA) during this period.
Starting in 1974, Mr. Hong spent a year traveling throughout Europe and the United States. In 1975 he joined the family businesses in retail and restaurants. He also offered independent consulting services.
In 1976, he joined Hawaiian Telephone Company as a senior auditor and held numerous auditing and accounting positions, ending as their Director of Internal Auditing. Mr. Hong was promoted and transferred in 1984 to Hawaiian Telephone's parent company, GTE-Telephone Operations in Stamford, Connecticut as Director of Internal Auditing. In this latter position, he was responsible for directing the internal audit functions for eight domestic and three foreign telephone operating companies. In 1988, Mr. Hong was promoted to Director of Financial Analysis for GTE Service Corporation where he was responsible for evaluation of financial projects, preparation of financial presentations to security analysts, and other special projects.
He returned to Honolulu in 1989 as controller for Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI). His responsibilities included financial reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission, investors, and analysts. Mr. Hong also provided evaluations and recommendations for investment opportunities, assisted subsidiaries in project and budget analysis, established budget and allocation systems, and participated in settlement negotiations.
In 1991, he moved to Hawaiian Tug & Barge Corp. and Young Brothers, Limited (HTB/YB) as Vice-President Finance and Government Affairs before being named President in 1992. HTB/YB provide harbor assist, common carrier inter-island freight transportation, and tug and barge charter services in Hawaii.
Mr. Hong is a member of The 200 Club of Honolulu. He is on the boards of Hawaii Harbors Users Group, Hawaii Employers Council (Executive Committee), The Foundation for the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies, a member of the UH Shidler College of Business Advisory Board, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce-Maritime Committee. He was formerly chairman of the Advisory Board of the Hawaii Family Support Center, past-chair of the 2002 Honolulu Harbor Festival, past president of the U.S. Navy League-Honolulu Council.
Mr. Hong Is married to Jaydene Sniffen and they have four boys.
Seat: Commercial Shipping (Alternate)
Jim is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and has recently retired from 38 years at sea as a Deck Officer, the last 24 years as Master of container ships ranging in size from 700 to 950 ft. On February 8, 2012 Capt. Jim was in command of the Horizon Reliance when three Canadian sailors were safely rescued from their stricken sailboat in a winter storm with 30 foot seas about 400 miles east of Hawaii. Jim was the recipient of the United States Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement and the 2012 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Mariners' Plaque. He lives in Kona, HI with his wife Anita and together they run a small coffee farm. With nearly 2 million miles logged at sea, Jim has a deep appreciation of cetaceans and their plight in the open ocean and coastal regions.
United States Navy
Janice Fukawa is the Community Planning and Liaison Officer for Navy Region Hawaiʻi. Born and raised in Wahiawa, Oahu, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at California State Polytechnic University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). After over a decade of experience in city government planning in southern California, Janice returned to Hawaiʻi to raise her growing family. In 2001, she shifted her career focus and accepted a Community Planning position with the Navy at Pearl Harbor. Currently, Janice supports the Navy's Readiness Sustainment and Compatibility Program and is the Department of Defense representative on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council.
National Marine Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Regional Office
Jeff works as the Wildlife Management and Conservation Branch Chief for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Protected Resources Division. Jeff oversees staff responsible for Hawaiian monk seal recovery, sea turtle recovery, and marine mammal health and stranding response programs. Jeff's branch also facilitates outreach and partnership-building to manage human-wildlife interactions associated with ocean recreation and nearshore fisheries. Prior to his current position, Jeff worked as NOAA's Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator. He has also worked at the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources as the co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and as a planning and policy analyst with the Hawaiʻi State Office of Planning. He also worked as a research fellow with the East-West Center and University of Hawaiʻi, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in marine fisheries extension in the Philippines. Jeff's educational background includes a B.S. in chemistry from Eckerd College, an M.S. in oceanography from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in geography and marine resources management from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Jeff and his wife, Edna, have lived on Oʻahu since 1990, and are the proud parents of a son and daughter both born and raised in Hawaiʻi.
Seat: Research (Alternate)
Jens Currie is the Senior Research Analyst at Pacific Whale Foundation and leads the Hawaii research team. A marine biologist originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, with a strong passion for analytic problem solving in the fields of physical oceanography, biology, and ecology. He has completed a Bachelor of Science (Honors) and Master of Science in Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. His interests lie in linking physical observations to observed biological changes and relating this, if appropriate, to anthropogenic factors. He is currently a member of the Large Whale Entanglement Response Network, the Pacific Islands Marine Mammal Response Network, and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team.
Previously he has worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a physical scientist completing ecosystem based modeling and as a marine biologist researching community dependence on estuarine ecosystem goods and services in developing regions of South Africa. He has substantial experience in R programming language and its use for the development of oceanographic and ecological model assimilation techniques with emphasis on development, standardization, and sharing of basic functions and packages.
Seat: Ocean Recreation
Capt. Jim Coon has spent his life working, living and playing on the ocean and coastal environments. His Father was a sailor and fisherman. Jim's formative years were on boats. He started commercial fishing as an eleven year old boy and spent over three months fishing in the Gulf of Alaska. Subsequently, he commercial fished the Gulf almost every summer until finishing college where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. Shortly after completing a two year Pacific cruise and sailing to Hawaiʻi on a boat built with his Dad and Brother, they established Trilogy Excursions and he got involved in protecting and preserving the Hawaiian environment. Trilogy was one of the first companies to embrace what is now called Eco-Tourism.
He is a founder and current President of the Ocean Tourism Association (OTC). Chaired Governor Arioshi's Whale Sanctuary Task Force (mid 1980's). Charter member of the Whale Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) served as first SAC Chair for several years. Was President of the Maui Chapter of The Ocean Resources Council of Hawaii (TORCH) He was part of the first ORMP (Ocean Resources Management Plan) process in the mid 1980's developing the first plan of its type in America. He has stayed involved with the ORMP process up to this day. He served on the MACZMAG (Marine and Coastal Zone Management Advisory Group) as a citizen participant for several years. Currently he is a charter member of MACZAC (Marine and Coastal Zone Advocacy Council; Ke Kahu O Na Kumu Wai).
He is Co-Founder and CEO of Trilogy Excursions; Maui's oldest sail boat company and a leader in preserving and protecting Hawaii's precious marine environment. Trilogy's Blue ‘Aina Reef Clean Up Program in conjunction with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Hawaiʻi Chapter), provides major financial and citizen support for a variety of local NGO's and helps keep Maui's reefs healthy.
Dr. Judith Lemus is a science education specialist at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi. She develops collaborative partnerships that promote community-science interactions, integrate science and culture, and provide professional development opportunities for both young and established scientists. Dr. Lemus received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Southern California with a specialization in symbiotic systems. She serves on the boards of both regional and national science education organizations and is currently the principle investigator and director of the National Science Foundation "Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence" in Hawaiʻi (COSEE Island Earth).
Kevin is the founder of Triton Aquatic Corporation, which concentrates on developing appropriate management, research and industry capacity for sustainable marine aquaculture in the Western Pacific. He moved to Hawaii 20 years ago to study coral reef fish and the invasive gorilla ogo at the University of Hawaii. Prior professional experience includes three years as a fishery analyst for the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, and as a project manager for a dozen years at the consulting firm Tetra Tech, where Kevin led marine and coastal projects for federal, state and private clients on management and development of nearshore activities, invasive species control, contaminant assessment and control, resource surveys, and impact assessment. Kevin lives on Oahu and is married to Irene Kelly. Together, they are raising two active girls and spend their weekends together exploring the islands mauka to makai.
Kim Steutermann Rogers
Seat: Kauai Alternate
Kim Steutermann Rogers is an award-winning freelance journalist living on Kaua`i and covering, mostly, the unique and often endangered species of Hawai`i's flora and fauna. She has reported on endangered Hawaiian monk seals for Hakai and Smithsonian. She has covered Laysan albatross and for Audubon. She has written about the first-ever Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Areas rules at Haena, Kauai for The Atlantic's CityLab. She has been a long time volunteer on Kauai for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the Kauai Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation Hui, and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Follow her writing at http://www.kimsrogers.com.
State of Hawaiʻi Office of Planning
Born and raised on Oʻahu, Leo R. Asuncion, Jr., is the Manager of the Hawaiʻi CZM Program in the Office of Planning, State of Hawaiʻi. He has over twenty years of experience in program and project management, land use planning, capital improvement projects, policy development and program evaluation. He is also active with a number of professional and community organizations. Mr. Asuncion is a graduate of McKinley High School in Honolulu, HI and has earned his BA in political science and his MURP in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of HawaiʻiaMānoa. He also obtained a MBA degree from Hawaiʻi Pacific University.
Born in Kāneʻohe, Makaʻala has been an active advocate for nature and culture all her life. She currently guides the Hanalei Watershed Hui in the implementation of a community authored Watershed Action Plan that focuses on the integrated management of economic, natural and cultural resources in the Hanalei Bay watershed. She serves on several statewide Boards and is an outspoken proponent of community based initiative.
Seat: Conservation alternate
Hōkū Cody born and raised on the island of Oʻahu and has her degrees in both Digital Graphics & New Media and Marine Science. She has spent a few field seasons within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument focused on human impacts on seabirds and marine mammals populations through research, debris removal, habitat restoration, translocations, and rehabilitation. She is currently the community program coordinator for Kure Atoll Conservancy with a major focus on community conservation programs such as developing a process with Kauaʻi National Wildlife Refuge Complex for community members to contribute to endangered species conservation priorities.
Seat: Kauaʻi Island
Nina Monasevitch has been an activist and advocate for cetaceans and their ocean home since 1976. Since that time, she has witnessed first hand the decline in the health of the marine ecosystem. She has been collecting published research on the state of oceans and cetaceans since 1990. Nina has had numerous encounters with cetaceans. She worked with Echo and Misha, Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphins at UCSC Long Marine Lab, and was a part of their successful return to the wild. Nina has studied or worked with many cetacean specialists including John Lilly, Ken Norris, Paul Spong and Rick O'Brry. Nina serves as a director on the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Hawaiʻi Chapter. Her personal experiences and studies have given her a deep respect for cetaceans and great compassion to their plight. She is committed to be an ambassador and a voice for these animals and their ocean home.
Seat: Fishing Alternate
Phil Fernandez has worked in various positions related to commercial, non-commercial, recreational fishing, fish processing, and marine resource and ecosystem management for the last 15 years. He is experienced in state, tribal, regional, and national regulatory processes and rules, including promulgation of fishing and marine use regulations, marine protected area planning and management, and community and stakeholder outreach and education. In his line of work, he has applied business, science, and entrepreneurial experience, knowledge, and skills to provide management consulting services to trawl vessel owners. Fernandez is currently President of a fishing advocacy organization, Hawaiʻi Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, Inc., and also sits on numerous federal and state advisory and advocacy councils. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Economics.
Rick Gaffney was born and raised in Hawaiʻi and has had a fishing line in the water since he was 8 years old, obtained first USCG captain's license in 1974 and has been active in fisheries management and conservation in the Pacific since then. Rick has served on the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee, and as a founding member and co-chair of the West Hawaiʻi Fishery Council, he currently holds the Recreational Fishing seat on the Papahānaumokuākea Reserve Advisory Committee. He is the owner of Pacific Boats & Yachts, and has done ocean recreation business development consulting across the Pacific and Indian Oceans for decades.
Seat: Maui Island
Robin Newbold is a founding member and current Chair for the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council (MNMRC). She is a past professor of marine biology and oceanography at Saddleback College in CA, and an active SCUBA diver and spokesperson for Maui's reefs. Beginning in 1995, Newbold led and participated in coral reef research efforts around Maui Nui, and spearheaded the introduction of REEF in Hawaiʻi to foster a sense of reef awareness and stewardship among Maui's residents. She has made over a thousand research-oriented SCUBA dives at many locations throughout the Pacific and is committed to involving the community in restoration of our reefs. She serves on Hawaiʻi's Natural Area Reserves Commission and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Seat: Native Hawaiian Alternate
Sabra Kauka is a kumu of Hawaiian Studies and hula hālau Nā Pua o Kamaile at Island School. In addition she coordinates the Department of Education Hawaiian Studies Cultural Personnel Resources on Kauaʻi. She teaches many traditional arts including making Kapa, feather lei and weaving lauhala. She is a founding member and president of Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana, the caretakers of Nuʻalolo Kai State Park on Kauaʻi. She also serves as a board member of Garden Island Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D), and is a member of the Hale ʻŌpio Kauaʻi Community Partnership Hui for HI Hopes. She graduated from Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i and completed postgraduate work at University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation - Harbors Division
Sandra Rossetter is a Planner for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Harbors Division. She has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon and has six years of experience planning for people and environment. She has always had a strong connection to the ocean and is inspired by life in Hawaiʻi.
Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala
Seat: Lānaʻi Island
E ʻōʻiwi Lānaʻi au. I am a 7th generation native son from the Island of Lānaʻi. I have been nurtured in the ways of my Kūpuna and I continue to perpetuate their teachings in my daily life. We have been gifted with the tools of our Kūpuna, their knowledge, experiences and their respect for each other in this place we call Ka Pae ʻĀina Hawaiʻi. Our responsibility is to bridge it into the future generations in the manner it was given to us. E hoʻomau!
Seat: Hawai‘i Island
Capt. Steve Turner is the owner-operator of Kohala Blue, a sailing charter company out of Kawaihae South Small Boat Harbor on Hawai'i Island. Steve's compassion for marine life surfaced during his teenage years on Maui. He has owned an ocean-going sailboat since 1987 and has sailed steadily, including numerous trans-Pacific crossings between Hawai'i and North America. Over the years, his encounters with cetaceans and other marine life have led to his commitment to respect, protect and preserve them.
Capt. Steve earned his 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Masters license in 1991, and has worked as a professional mariner since, mostly in the whale watching industry. His unwavering support of marine life and the ocean environment continues, and he's a long-time supporter of direct-action conservation.
Seat: Whale Watching
Tara Leota is the sole owner & operator of Kauaʻi Sea Rider Adventures, Inc. Captain Tara has been sharing her knowledge of and passion for Hawaiian reef ecology for over 35 years as both a Captain and Dive Master. As a marine biologist and educator, Captain Tara has developed ongoing programs, from student whale watches to reef walks that have not only provided the enjoyment of the sea for students and people with special needs, but also promoted safety and environmental awareness. Captain Tara has local knowledge of Hawaiian culture, piloting Hawaiʻi's coastlines', assessing weather and water conditions, and Hawaiian reef ecology and taxonomy.
Seat: Business/Commerce Alternate
Mr. Thorne Abbott is an experienced coastal manager and environmental planner dedicated to improving proposed developments by capitalizing on innovative natural resource conservation, and his efforts have led to worldwide experience, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. His background integrates four broad topical areas including; constructed wetlands, water quality and watershed planning; shoreline, beach and coastal management; protected areas, species of special concern and sanctuaries; and policy, permitting and law. Based on his experience in government, non-profit, education and research, and private sectors, Abbott has served as a shoreline and coastal resources expert and has helped develop cross-jurisdictional, multi-sector approaches to solving complex coastal and environmental problems. He is active in the coastal community and presently serves on the Hawaiʻi Audubon Society Board of Directors and the Legacy Land Conservation Commission, to which he was recently appointed by Hawaiʻi's Governor.
Tunis W. McElwain
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Tunis McElwain serves as Chief of the Regulatory Branch, Honolulu District. Tunis works with approximately ten regulatory professionals and Senior Biologist/Project Managers to manage the Regulatory Program in Hawaiʻi, Guam, and American Samoa.
Tunis has also served as Chief of the Fort Myers Section and Mining Coordinator, Regulatory Division, Jacksonville District. Where he worked to resolve complex project proposals with applicants as well as other federal, state and local government agencies and national environmental advocacy groups.
Tunis first began his career in public service with the Forest Service in Priest Lake, Idaho. He later worked with the National Biological Survey at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Prior to coming to the Corps, Tunis worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation for approximately six years as a Reclamation Plan Specialist and oversaw the active mining process and subsequent reclamation of surface coal mines.
Tunis joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District as a Regulatory Specialist in 1999 where he worked in a field office in Newburgh, Indiana that covers 55 counties in three states. In 2003, Tunis joined the Jacksonville District team as a Project Manager and worked in the Fort Myers Regulatory Office until July of 2006.
From 2006 to 2008, Tunis served as the Chief of the Coastal Branch of the Mobile District Regulatory Division. As Chief, he was responsible for approximately 17 professionals who implemented all aspects of the regulatory program for the lower six counties in Mississippi and the coastal portion of Alabama.
Tunis has also served as the Acting Chief, South Permits Branch Jacksonville District with responsibilities that include all of South Florida.