Partnering to Advance Hawaii's Marine 30x30 Initiative

Partnering to Advance Hawaii's Marine 30x30 Initiative

Photo(s): Courtesy of Hawaii Community Foundation
Grantee Hawaii Community Foundation
Grant Amount $750,000
Duration Three Years

Marine 30x30 Initiative

The Marine 30x30 Initiative will support broad public participation and incorporate expert scientific and cultural guidance to achieve the goal of restoring abundance to Hawai‘i's nearshore waters so that the people of Hawai‘i can enjoy our coastal waters, support local livelihoods, and feed our families.


In 2016, the State launched the Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative, a multi-pronged effort to ensure a healthy environment and economy for Hawaii’s people. As part of this effort, the Department of Land and Natural Resources committed to effectively manage Hawaii’s nearshore waters with 30% established as marine management areas by 2030. The term marine management area refers to a balanced and nuanced approach to managing a specific geographic area for its marine resources and its uses. MMA regulations will vary depending on the area, such as regulating the type of gear used or instituting size limits for species to protect against over-harvesting. Hawai‘i leads the nation as the first state working to achieve the international conservation goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet by 2030 on a regional level. Leading scientists agree that this level of protection can help prevent mass extinctions, preserve critical ecosystem services, and help avert the worst impacts of climate change. The Initiative carries forward commitments made by public and private organizations that launched the Aloha+Challenge, a statewide commitment to achieve Hawaii’s sustainability goals and framework to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and by partners who issued the Promise to Pae‘āina, which is a collective commitment for measurable change in Hawai‘i’s i’s ocean.

HCF’s Role

HCF’s role is to launch and administer a pooled field of interest fund to support robust implementation of Hawai‘i’s Marine 30x30 Initiative. This will include providing grants and contracts to increase and augment state capacity to carry out the initiative and build a marine managed areas (MMA) program, as well as provide support for a range of partners and communities throughout the state to design, monitor, and steward MMAs, advance responsible or pono fishing practices, and to protect and restore Hawai‘i’s unique nearshore marine environments.

Priority Funding Targets

With a fundraising goal of $3 million per year for the next ten years, the Marine 30x30 Initiative will provide grants and contracts to strengthen the collective work of partners. The following are the funding priorities:

• Empowering Community Efforts – To support community groups and networks of cultural practitioners throughout the Hawaiian Islands to revive effective traditional stewardship practices.

• Leveraging Private Investments for Public Funding - To support efforts that create and advance measures to increase public funding for long-term ocean conservation and management.

• Building a Movement – Develop strategic messaging to effectively communicate the importance of marine resources to a full range of stakeholders and decision-makers.

• Ensuring a Strong Foundation in Science - The Marine 30x30 Initiative must incorporate leading scientific information to ensure that its MMAs will function as an ecological network, informed by traditional knowledge, and crafted with monitoring and enforcement in mind.

• Setting the Stage for Good Governance – To support coordinated, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, planning milestones, and transparent communication to ensure greater efficiency and accountability among partners.