Maui, Hawai‘i – Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN), a leading marine conservation organization, is pleased to announce that Cheryl King, a noted sea turtle biologist, will be directing TIRN’s Hawai‘i Program. King will be the organization’s first Hawai’i-based staff member, sparking a major expansion of its work in the Pacific Islands region.
King has studied and worked to protect Hawaiian sea turtles for the past 18 years. She completed her Master’s thesis studying the sea turtles within the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve in 2007. She has worked in multiple government, NGO and ocean tourism-based settings.
“I’m incredibly passionate about ocean conservation, and as Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Hawai‘i director, I look forward to working with long-time alliances and forming new ones within our local communities, wildlife organizations and government agencies to help further understand and protect Hawaiian marine species and their environment,“ she said.
“We’ve had a long and growing relationship with Hawai‘i,” said Peter Fugazzotto, strategic programs director with TIRN. “From our work to reduce the impacts of longline fishing on endangered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles to mobilizing people all over the world in support of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, we have participated in significant legal actions and and brought considerable advocacy resources to protect the wildlife and waters of the Hawaiian islands. This new chapter will allow us to do important place-based work powered by the local community’s vision.”
Other Hawaiian conservation efforts that TIRN has been involved with include:
- Opposing the delisting of the Hawaiian green sea turtle (locally known as the honu)
- Supporting efforts to regulate the aquarium fish trade
- Helping secure increased protections for false killer whales, and
- Petitioning to end the slave labor trade associated with the Hawaiian longline industry
“Turtle Island Restoration Network is thrilled to have new resources to increase our efforts in Hawai‘i, thanks to a generous donation from Oracle founder, Larry Ellison,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of TIRN. “We aim to collaborate and amplify the good work of the many ocean activists in Hawai‘i, and hopefully introduce some new, creative ideas as well.”
Turtle Island Restoration Network has offices in California and Texas, and has funded projects in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea. Please join us to get involved!
Turtle Island Restoration Network (www.seaturtles.org) is a leading advocate for the world’s oceans and marine wildlife whose mission is to inspire and mobilize people around the world to protect marine biodiversity and the oceans that sustain all life on Earth. Turtle Island Restoration Network’s work is buoyed by thousands of supporters, volunteers and pro bono professionals, who help us extend our network around the globe.