The Nature Conservancy Announces New Hawai‘i Marine Conservation Director

Fish swimming near a coral reef.
Manini Hulope Bay Fish swimming in Manini Hulope Bay. © Chad Wiggins

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Hawai'i Marine Conservation Director
Emily Fielding Hawai'i Marine Conservation Director © Courtesy Emily Fielding

Today, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announces Emily Fielding has been selected as Hawaiʻi Marine Conservation Director.

Fielding is an established conservation leader whose commitment to collaboration and capacity building has empowered communities across Maui Nui to pursue co-management of the makai resources they rely upon for sustenance, cultural practices, recreation and coastal protection. As TNC’s Maui Marine Conservation Director, she also helped establish efforts to strengthen and accelerate co-management, including the Maui Nui Makai Network, the ‘Opihi Partnership, Hui O Ka Wai Ola, and Maui Hikina Huliamahi. 

“I am honored and privileged to lead this important work,” Fielding shares. “The passion and commitment of our team, partners, kūpuna and community inspires me every day. Together, we can restore Hawai‘i’s makai resources and effectively manage them on behalf of present and future generations.” 

Fielding will work with government, community, NGO and academic partners to enhance and accelerate conservation, rooted in traditional and customary knowledge and underpinned with science-based tools and approaches to build the resilience of reefs and coastlines so they are able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

“For the past 15 years, Emily has helped advance robust, locally-led conservation across Maui Nui,” says Ulalia Woodside Lee, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i and Palmyra. “I’m thrilled that she will now apply her passion and experience to work on behalf of makai resources and address climate challenges across the state.”  

Fielding has been recognized by the U. S. Coral Reef Task Force for significant contributions in planning and building community capacity.  Prior to joining TNC, she led the management planning process for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (NWHI CRER) and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.