Posted on: May 27, 2014

PWF Founder and Executive Director to be Honoree at Hawaiian Luau for Whaling Museum & Education Center

Pacific Whale Foundation Founder and Executive Director Greg Kaufman will be honored for his years of work on behalf of whale research and conservation, at a Hawaiian luau fundraiser at The Whaling Museum & Education Center of Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The event will take place on Saturday, July 19 at a private home overlooking Huntington Harbor.

Kaufman is the author of four books, and numerous scientific and popular publications, about cetaceans. An activist in the international "Save the Whales" movement and a pioneer in non-invasive humpback whale research off Maui in the mid-1970s, he founded the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980, and committed his new organization to educating the public, from a scientific perspective, about whales and their ocean habitat.

Today, Pacific Whale Foundation works in Hawaii, Australia, Ecuador and Chile, with more than 150 staff including researchers, educators and conservation advocates, and tens of thousands of supporters and members worldwide. Pacific Whale Foundation's mission is to protect the oceans through science and advocacy.

As Pacific Whale Foundation's lead researcher, Kaufman oversees Pacific Whale Foundation's humpback whale research program off Australia, which started in 1984 and is credited as the longest running study of  humpback whales off Australia.

Kaufman is an Invited Participant to the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee and is a contributor to the subcommittees on Whale-watching, Southern Hemisphere Whales and Bycatch. He serves on the Hawaiian Island Humpback National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee, is a contributing member to the Southern Oceans Research Partnership and recently co-led the United Nations Environmental Programme's Regional Workshop on Marine Mammal Watching in the Wider Caribbean Region. He was the US delegate in a recent international workshop (held in Patagonia) to Develop a Five Year Global Plan for Whale-watching.

"I have been privileged to champion and witness a global shift in how human beings relate to humpback whales," said Kaufman, speaking from his home on Maui. "Back in the 1970s, commercial whaling was widespread and the humpback whales were so perilously close to extinction. Scientific research, public education and outreach have resulted in significant protections for the whales and a vigorous conservation-minded approach to whales worldwide."

"I am grateful that The Whaling Museum & Education Center is working to educate the public about whales and whale protection, and is choosing to honor me at their upcoming luau," he notes.

In addition to Kaufman, New York residents and philanthropists Jim and Yvette Loughlin will also be honorees at the event. The couple has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for community causes such as Huntington Hospital, the Junior Welfare League of Huntington, For the Fallen and Operation Hearts & Home.

To learn more about the luau, please visit http://www.cshwhalingmuseum.org/ or call 631-367-3418 ext. 12.