Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill eight primary and nine alternate seats on its advisory council, which ensures public input into sanctuary matters and provides advice to the sanctuary management.

“The members of our advisory council represent an extremely important element of our community,” said Malia Chow, sanctuary superintendent. “Their input, experience and expertise assist sanctuary managers in making informed and timely decisions on how best to protect and conserve our important cultural and natural resources.”

The sanctuary is currently seeking applicants for the following primary and alternate seats: Native Hawaiian, Fishing, Education, Research (primary only), Hawai’i County, Kaua’i County, Maui County, Honolulu County (alternate only), Commercial Shipping (alternate only) and Youth/Student Seat (ages 14-17).

Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations, and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources.

NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in March 1996 to ensure continuous public participation in the management of the sanctuary. The council’s 19 voting members and 15 non-voting members, who serve on a volunteer basis, represent a variety of local user groups, the general public, and state and federal governmental jurisdictions. Alternates attend meetings when primary members are not available and assume a seat if a primary member resigns.

Applications are due June 30, 2012. To receive an application kit or for further information, please contact council coordinator Joe Paulin via e-mail at Joseph.Paulin@noaa.gov; by phone at 808-397-2651, ext. 257; or visit the sanctuary Web site at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov. Completed applications should be submitted to: Joe Paulin, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, 6600 Kalanianaole Highway, Suite 301, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825.

The sanctuary is administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The sanctuary works to protect humpback whales through research, education, conservation and stewardship. Join us on Facebook.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

DLNR’s mission is to enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of visitors and the people of Hawaii nei. Join us on Facebook.

On the Web:

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/

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