The sanctuary is jointly managed by the sanctuary superintendent, the state of Hawai`i co-manager, and other field staff via a cooperative federal-state partnership. The sanctuary superintendent receives national program guidance from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. Additionally, the state co-manager receives guidance from the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources. A sanctuary advisory council has been established to provide advice and recommendations on various issues of concern throughout the sanctuary.
The Sanctuary's Role in Resource Protection and Conservation
Congress authorized the sanctuary in 1992, and the Governor of Hawai`i formally approved it in 1997. Established for the purpose of conservation, research, and education, the sanctuary develops programs and takes initiatives that strengthen resource protection measures and ensure the long-term recovery of humpback whales. The primary focus of such efforts lies in educating the public about existing regulations that protect humpback whales, enhancing the enforcement of these laws, and working cooperatively with other agencies to increase awareness of humpbacks and their habitat. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marie Sanctuary completed its first five-year review process in 2002 by reviewing, revising and updating the existing management plan with the involvement of staff, its Sanctuary Advisory Council, the State of Hawaii and the local community. In September 2002, Governor Cayetano approved the final revised management plan for implementation in state waters.
In Partnership with the People of Hawai`i
The Hawaii sanctuary and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries work cooperatively with the people of Hawai`i to protect this important marine ecosystem. Grassroots support is vital to the success of marine sanctuaries. NOAA's partnership with the state, and with the people of Hawai`i, will help to ensure that humpback whales are protected for the continued enjoyment of present and future generations.