At places like Ho’okipa Beach on the island of Maui, it is not unusual to see humans and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles sharing the same seashore. One activity that has become increasingly popular amongst tourists is watching the “Honu” leave the water to bask on Maui’s warm beaches. While this day-to-day occurrence proves to be a truly marvelous sight for those looking to get the full “Hawaiian experience,” it is not necessarily beneficial for the turtles themselves, as not all tourists are equally considerate of the Honu or the rules set in place to keep them safe. Some visitors are known to get too close to the turtles, touching them and even sitting on them on occasion.
Organizations like the Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) are dedicated to the protection and conservation of this species, which is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN. Recently, the HWF held a crowd-funding campaign for their Honu Watch Project, which provides the turtles with daily monitoring and safety.
To see how you can contribute to the protection of Maui’s Green Sea Turtles, go to wildhawaii.org