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Marine Matters

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Expanding Protection through Community Involvement

Naomi McIntosh

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, 726 South Kihei Road, Kihei, Maui, HI 96753; 1-800-831-4888


This is the final article of a three part series on the endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. This article focuses on the role of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary's Advisory Council. The Council is a 25-member volunteer advisory group established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Sanctuaries Division to assist in the continued development and management of the Hawaii Sanctuary Program. The Council maintains a strong advisory role in matters relating to the Hawaii Sanctuary. Members represent Sanctuary-related constituent interests in education, research, conservation, ocean recreation, native Hawaiian communities, and government agencies. This broad representation ensures that advice provided to Sanctuary management is comprehensive, well-informed, and diverse. In addition, meetings of the Council provide an opportunity for the local community to participate in discussions about issues affecting the Sanctuary. It allows for the concerns of various constituencies to be heard and enables the Sanctuary program to develop a more responsive and balanced approach to managing the Sanctuary's marine resources.

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