NFWF Announces Release of Hawai‘i Conservation Program Business Plan and 2021 Request for Proposals

The program will award approximately $950,000 in conservation grants in Hawaiʻi

Koolau Mountains, Oahu, Hawai'i

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 14, 2021) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the release of its Hawai‘i Conservation Program business plan, which will serve as the basis for the Foundation’s future conservation funding efforts in the state. NFWF’s goals and strategies to restore, improve and protect habitat and wildlife throughout the main Hawaiian Islands can be viewed in the Hawai‘i Conservation Program business plan here.

In addition, the Foundation announced the release of the 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the program. The RFP seeks applications from potential grantees for activities that will strategically protect and enhance essential habitats in Hawai‘i, from the mountains to the ocean, or “mauka to makai,” to reduce extinction risk and sustain resilient populations of native species. 

“Developed in consultation with conservation partners in Hawai‘i, this business plan conceptualizes and defines an integrated, science-driven strategy to prioritize actions, increase investment efficiency, and measure cumulative impacts that complement the state’s landscape-level initiative,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 2021 RFP is the first step to fund projects specifically to advance our business plan goals for watershed forest health, endemic birds and coral reefs.”

Funding for the Hawai‘i Conservation Program RFP is provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and Pūlama Lāna‘i. This year, the program will award approximately $950,000 in grants to projects that directly and measurably contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the program priorities as identified in the business plan.

“Combating the threats Hawai‘i’s native species and unique ecosystems face requires our creativity, investment, and effective collaboration. Over the last 20 years, NFWF’s investments in Hawai‘i have led to durable conservation outcomes and helped to establish partnerships between agencies, communities, landowners, and conservation organizations,” said Michelle D. Bogardus, assistant field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “As we face Hawai‘i’s urgent conservation challenges together, these partnerships have become our greatest and most rewarding strength.”

In this year’s RFP, the Hawai‘i Conservation Program species and habitats of interest include palila (finch-billed Hawaiian honeycreeper), kiwikiu (Maui parrotbill), ‘ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel), O‘ahu elepaio (monarch flycatcher), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), puaiohi (small Kauai thrush) and Maui Nui coral reefs. This year’s funding seeks to support projects that:

  • Reduce extinction risk for individual endemic bird species by addressing direct threats and improving habitat conditions for a suite of species.
  • Foster healthy coral reef ecosystems that are resilient to current and predicted environmental stressors by reducing land-based sources of pollution and advancing coral reef fisheries management on the southern Moloka‘i, Kihei and eastern Lāna‘i reef tracts.
  • Incorporate community outreach, foster community engagement and pursue collaborative management while elevating traditional knowledge in priority conservation activities referenced above.

“With so many ecosystems at risk in Hawaiʻi, we are very excited to see the release of NFWF’s Business Plan and RFP for 2021 proposals. NFWF has been a key partner in efforts to conserve biodiversity in Hawaiʻi,” said Suzanne Case, chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. “The benefits of NFWF’s support have been far reaching, from helping to prevent extinctions of unique Hawaiian forest species to enhancing the health of coral reef ecosystems through support for action to reduce erosion and sedimentation. We are pleased to provide our continued support for this partnership.”

Hawai‘i Conservation Program grant proposals are due October 25, 2021, and the full RFP can be found here. An applicant webinar will be held September 22, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., Hawai‘i time.

All proposals will be screened for relevance, accuracy, completeness and compliance with NFWF and funding source policies. Proposals will then be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the evaluation criteria found in the RFP.

Additional information about the program can be found here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.8 billion. Learn more at

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

About the U.S. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the Forest Service’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains one of the largest forestry research organizations in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply and contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. The agency also supports sustainable management on about 500 million acres of private, state and tribal forests including forests in urban areas. For more information, visit

About Pūlama Lāna‘i
Pūlama Lāna‘i is committed to redefining the Hawaiian Island of Lāna‘i as a sustainable community by creating new opportunities driven by agriculture, resource management, conservation and more.  Enhancing and perpetuating the island’s diverse species and fragile ecosystem through game management, natural species preservation, watershed management, erosion control, coastal resources and fisheries management, invasive species control and conservation education, Pūlama Lāna‘i brings an integrated and comprehensive approach to protect and manage Lāna‘i’s natural resources to preserve Hawaiian culture and improve the lives of Lāna‘i residents.


Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,