With a mission to protect the ocean through science and advocacy, and to inspire environmental stewardship, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) conducts Research, Education and Conservation programs for the communities in which it serves. Founded by Greg Kaufman in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the world’s whales from extinction, PWF has now grown into a social enterprise that offers fee-based programs and services through PacWhale Eco-Adventures to help fund its nonprofit work. Combined with memberships, donations, charitable grants and a remarkable group of dedicated volunteers, PWF now reaches more than 400,000 individuals each year through its Maui and Australia offices and research projects in Ecuador and Chile.
As leaders in the development of responsible whale watching, Pacific Whale Foundation has been acutely aware of the ever-changing nature of the relationship between humans and marine mammals and has developed a broad, holistic approach to marine tourism.
For the past 40 years, our researchers have conducted studies and collected data to better understand marine life and how to best protect it. All ecotours are led by a Certified Marine Naturalist, who holds a degree in marine sciences or a related subject and goes through an extensive training program covering the culmination of this research, as well as vessel operations and Hawaiian culture.
Through our efforts, millions of people have learned about whales and other marine life, like dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, and the endangered Hawaiian population of false killer whales. We take pride in knowing that we have been at the forefront of educating the public, from a scientific perspective, about marine life and the world in which they live.
These are just a few of the ways our operations help fulfill our mission to protect the ocean and inspire environmental stewardship
Volunteer opportunities offered to visitors and local community to help anyone easily find meaningful service projects to benefit Maui’s environment
Education programs, like Keiki Whalewatch and Ocean Camp that impact over 10,000 children each year, are developed in-house based on research conducted by Pacific Whale Foundation scientists or in collaboration with researchers from other organizations to inspire children to become environmental stewards
Educational resources on marine life are developed and shared with schools to further inspire students to become future stewards of our planet’s ocean
Internships offered for university students interested in marine research