Adopt a Seahorse Program

The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is dedicated to saving the Art of the Sea through education, ocean conservation, propagation and release back into the ocean of the highly endangered Seahorses, Sea Dragons and Decorative Reef Fish.

The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation currently has “The Worlds’ Largest Living Gene Bank of Endangered Seahorses”. We are now creating a living gene bank for the Sea Dragons and Decorative Reef Fish.

The Adopt a Seahorse Program is dedicated to releasing seahorses in Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) in West Hawaii, Tavarua, Fiji and Vava u, Tonga. The Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is asking $2500 per pair. We hope to release 50 pairs each year starting in 2015.

The Seahorse is an indicator species, and will only flourish in coastal reefs and sea grass beds that are free of agricultural, industrial and sewage run off. Therefore we can only release seahorses into marine protected areas with healthy flourishing coral gardens and sea grass beds. The Adopt a Seahorse Program is dedicated to re-establishing seahorses in pristine reefs around the world starting with Puako, Hawaii, Tavarua, Fiji and Fua a motu,Tonga.

The Hawaii Fisheries Act now protects seahorses in West Hawaii, which is the only place in the Hawaiian Islands where the seahorses are protected. The King of Tonga have gifted an entire island and the surrounding reef to our Seahorse Hawaii Foundation Director, Puaita Pulotu, to create a model Marine Protected Area. In Tavarua, we are working with children from Hawaii and Fiji together with Fijian Elders and Tavarua  Resort owners to inspire  marine stewardship through the  re- establishment of  the native seahorse into the MPA surrounding this world famous surf resort, becoming a model for other ocean communities. Our goal  is  to raise $20,000 annually for this restocking program.

We believe this project will make a significant impact in saving our ocean and protecting our coral reefs, the animals that live there, and the people that surf and swim there. We invite you to be a part of this earth changing, grass roots project now by making a tax free contribution to the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation a 501(c)3 organization with Federal EIN # 20-5592772 and State of Hawaii Tax ID # W37503643.

Background Information for Adopt a Seahorse Program in Tonga

Today, more then ever, our coral reefs, sea grass beds and coastal waterways which are the nursery grounds for the ocean, are under attack. These are not only areas where we like to surf and play in the ocean but areas where the seahorse and many other beautiful fish and corals, which I call the art of the sea, were once common. Without protecting these areas we do not have a chance of bringing our oceans back to the pristine state they once were.

As our global population tops 7 1/2 billion, pollution, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and over fishing are worse then ever. We have taken 90% of our fish out of the ocean in the last 50 years and our coral reefs are expected to disappear forever within the next 50 years if we do not do something now. Scientist believe that if we can put 20% of our ocean into marine reserves we have a chance at saving our coral reefs and bringing our ocean back to what it was 10 years ago. Today we have 1% in marine reserves and .6% of that is the North Western Hawaiian Islands. We believe we have to do more.

So what the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation is doing is helping to establish marine protected areas in Tonga in order to protect some of the worlds last truly pristine reefs. These protected areas will serve as a wild nursery ground for re-seeding near by reefs that have been heavily stripped for food by local communities, poachers and aquarium collectors from all over the word. Puaita Pulotu is working closely with the Government of Tonga to establish this marine reserve which will be working in conjunction with an aquaculture facility for culturing seahorses and giant clams, a world class eco-lodge, and a children’s educational center. The mission here is to have the local villagers become steak holders in the project to guarantee its success.

We feel that saving this unique underwater world in Tonga will be a model as to how the creation of marine reserves in combination with aquaculture, eco-tourism, and education can make a difference. Just like protecting the rain forest on land, the reefs are the lungs of the ocean and need our urgent help and protection. We hope you would like to help us help the ocean.

Mahalo for your support!

Carol Cozzi-Schmarr
Founder/President, Seahorse Hawaii Foundation