NOAA 2004-R433
Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2004
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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) today announced the appointment of two primary members and two alternate members to serve on the site’s Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Named to fill open seats for Education, Kaua`i and Maui counties, and Native Hawaiian are:

  • Education - Primary member: Jeanne Russell, Kaua`i - Russell is a high-school teacher at a private school on Kaua`i. She has a long-time interest in marine conservation and has volunteered with the sanctuary in the past.
  • Kaua`i County - Alternate: Don Thornburg, Kaua`i - Thornburg previously held the Ocean Recreation Alternate seat on the council. He has had experience working with various marine industries and efforts involving coastal zone issues.
  • Maui County - Alternate: Cheryl Sterling, Maui - Sterling participated in sanctuary events over the last several years including coordinating with the sanctuary to host the International Marine Debris Conference in 2000 on O`ahu.
  • Native Hawaiian - Primary: Michelle Yuen, O`ahu - Yuen has a background in marine mammal research with the University of Hawaii and has worked with several organizations supporting marine conservation.

Sanctuary Advisory Council primary and alternate members serve two-year terms. The advisory council meets bi-monthly in public sessions.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in March 1996 to provide advice and recommendations on managing and protecting humpback whales. The council is composed of 16 government and 15 non-governmental representatives, that represent community interests and concerns to the sanctuary and NOAA.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is administered by a partnership between NOAA and the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. The shallow, warm waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands constitute one of the world’s most important humpback whale habitats. Approximately two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population migrates to Hawaiian waters each winter to engage in calving, nursing and breeding activities.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service manages the NMSP and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. The National Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:


National Ocean Service:

National Marine Sanctuary Program:

Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: