Earlier this month we wrote about how 52-Hertz’s story had been gaining momentum in the media, catching the eye of actor Adrian Grenier (of Entourage fame.) Our Program Director, Amy Fonarow, has been keeping herself apprised on this story and wanted us to share with everyone that the film is now fully funded thanks to help from Leonardo DiCaprio! A true philanthropist and animal lover, DiCaprio contributed $50,000 of his own money to help fund the film.
With funding having been reached, the nearly 4,000 backers who contributed to the Kickstarter project will receive all of their promised gifts which include posters and even a signed backing of a director’s chair from the upcoming Entourage movie. Meanwhile, Grenier and his friends can begin to film and search for 52! They will put together a team, and using tracking equipment will not only search for 52-Hertz and bring awareness to his story, but also study the effects of noise pollution on the ocean. It is believed that noise pollution created by humans has contributed to whale deafness and even beaching.
Here at Hawaii Ocean Project, we couldn’t be happier that 52’s story has reached the mainstream media and that Grenier reached his funding goal. The protection of marine mammals is something that we’re very passionate about. In fact our mission is, “To support marine research and to educate visitors and residents about Hawaii’s marine ecosystem while delivering unique ocean excursions.” Although 52 isn’t a “resident” of Hawaii, we hope that this attention to his story will help science find a way to ease his loneliness and help him to find a friend, while alerting people to the effect we have on the ocean.
Although Grenier’s film received full funding, there are so many cetaceans that still need assistance. 100% of funds we receive from memberships, tours, and donations are given to peer-reviewed researchers, with our most recent donation recipient being Whale Trust. We’re still in whale watching season, which runs through May, so if you’re interested in seeing whales and also supporting legitimate research, look no further than the Hawaii Ocean Project Whale Watch Tour that departs from beautiful Lahaina, Maui. We know you’ll have a whale of a time!