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Through education, outreach, research and resource protection activities, the sanctuary thrives to protect humpback whales and their habitat in Hawai'i.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the nations 12th established marine sanctuary, protects the breeding, calving and nursing range of the largest Pacific population of the endangered humpback whale.
The boundary of the sanctuary encompasses approximately 1,218 square nautical miles of coastal and ocean waters around the main Hawaiian Islands. The sanctuary extends seaward from the shoreline to the 100-fathom isobath. It includes areas around the islands of Maui, Lana'i, and Moloka'i, and parts of O'ahu, Kaua'i and Hawai'i.
The sanctuary is jointly managed via a cooperative federal-state partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospoheric Administration and the State of Hawai'i.