Lahaina Cruise Company’s community-based division–known as Hawaii Ocean Project–is continuing a long term project to ensure that research scientists have the funding needed to better understand Hawaii’s marine environment. After 35 years of business in the tourism and boating industry, HOP Captain David H. Jung decided to form this community-based research division of the company.
Funds raised through the project’s 100 percent Research Direct Program support science-based marine research. The organization says each and every dollar donated to the program supports the work of Mark and Debbie Ferrari of The Center for Whale Studies; Dr. Joseph Mobley of Marine Mammal Research Consultants, Ltd. and the University of Hawaii; Dr. Meagan Jones of Whale Trust; Dr. Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective; and Jill Mickelsen of Hawaii Whale Research Foundation.
“We have an immediate need for our community to support legitimate and peer-reviewed research on Hawaii’s whales, dolphins, and marine ecosystem,” said Jung. “Our recipients are not subject to pressure in any form to slant their findings. We aim at keeping the program simple and honest; therefore, 100 percent of all Research Direct donations collected will support genuine research.”
Members of Hawaii Ocean Project will receive 25 percent off all excursions for one year, including whale watches, dinner cruises, snorkel trips, cocktail cruises, and tours of Molokai; Hawaii Ocean Project membership is open to both residents and visitors.
One of HOP’s additional goals is to gather a coalition of businesses island-wide to spur contributions to the researchers. In return, Hawaii Ocean Project will promote participating businesses to their on-board guests.
Additional information about the program, cruises, research and membership can be found at Hawaiioceanproject.com.