Our Volunteers

We are proud and humbled that our volunteers are as passionate about the marine life as we are. We could not “do it” without them.

Our team of volunteers and board members have a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge. Everyone lives in Kailua-Kona and has worked within the ocean-recreation industry in some manner for many years.

The majority of us are in the water with the local manta ray population almost 350 days of the year in the capacity of boat captain, dive master, swim guide or professional photographer. We observe, film and document anything that does harm to the Manta Rays so we can make a stronger case for more vigorous protection.

It is the base of our knowledge and (sometimes graphic) imagery and we are grateful that we are able to share it with you.

Martina Wing

MARTINA WING

Co-Founder
PADI Dive Master, Professional Underwater Photographer, Environmental Engineer, Conservationist

1998 was the first time Martina set foot onto Hawaii and immediately fell in love with the abundance marine life that is home to the Kona Coast.

She has always been a solution-seeker, so combining her field-experience with the Kona Manta Rays, her strength in record-keeping, organizing, and executing ideas with an undepletable desire to do good for the environment; she will get things done to propel HOW forward.

Martina strives to be a great resource for boat operators, ocean-goers and visitors enjoying the Big Island as well as protect our precious marine life and ocean eco-system.

If you want to learn more about her work as an Ocean Advocate, check out MartinaWing.com

Ryan Leinbach

E. Ryan Leinbach

Green List Committee Member
Professional Underwater Photographer, Boat Captain

Ryan was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina; she first came to Kona for an internship in 2004 and has lived on the Big Island since 2005.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Appalachian State University.   She is currently self-employed as an underwater photographer as well as a part time captain.

Ryan has been working with the Kona Manta population for over a decade and over 2000 dives with the rays.  She has extensive experience with Manta Ray identification, tracking, behavioral characteristics, and currently works with the database for new rays in Hawaiian waters.

She is one of the leading educators of the manta rays in Kona, and has helped to compile the most in depth website about the Kona Manta Rays at  MantaRaysHawaii.com

Ryan was one of the co-founders and creators of the original Manta Ray Green List and has helped move it to Hawaii Ocean Watch’s care.   She is very passionate about the Kona Manta Rays as well as the dolphins and whales who call the Kona Coast home.

Kerry Key

Kerry Key

Green List Committee Member
Owner of Kona Diving Company

During a family vacation in 2003, Kerry fell in love with Kona’s clear, blue ocean and all of the critters that call it home.  Two years later the Key family made the move to Kona and Kerry was soon spending every free minute in, on, or under water.

Since founding Kona Diving Company in 2010, she has logged over 5,000 dives in Kona and that passion has grown along with her understanding of Kona’s unique underwater habitats and animals.

Kerry was involved with a series of community meetings that resulted in establishing voluntary standards for the users of Kona’s two manta ray viewing locations and has been a longtime proponent of practices that put the manta rays first.

Through HOW, she hopes that local operators can influence and educate visitors and residents about our manta ray population and that our local dive and snorkel industry can become global role models for safe, responsible interactions between people and the animals we love.

Holly Kersten

Holly Kersten

Green List Committee Member
Owner of Sea Paradise Inc.
Chair or Surfrider Foundation Kona Kai Ea Chapter

After falling in love with the Hawaiian Islands Holly moved from the California Coast to Kona in 2002. Her love for the ocean inspired her to volunteer with the local Surfrider Foundation chapter in Kona dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches.

Impassioned to protect Hawaii’s precious natural resources she has  helped to design Sea Paradise‘ sailing and snorkeling tours to be as Eco-friendly as possible.

Additionally Holly is actively involved in the community helping to develop new manta, and dolphin protective regulations.

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis

Green List Committee Member
Professional commercial photographer, boat captain, dive master

Originally from Jerusalem, Israel, Jonathan moved to Kona in 2011 after living in New York for 5 years.

Jonathan has developed a strong passion for manta rays after experiencing the Manta Ray Night dive for the first time in 2011. This inspired him to find employment with a local diving company and for the next 5 years Jonathan has taken hundreds of divers underwater to experience the Kona Mantas.

Jonathan has been active in manta ray conservation and education efforts over the years and is excited to be a Green List committee member and further the Manta Ray Experience’s sustainability and safety.

Tenshi and Karina Hara

Tenshi and Karina Hara

Web Developers for Hawaii Ocean Watch

Tenshi was born in Troy, MI; he grew up in Germany though. He holds degrees from Technische Universität Dresden, Germany comparable to a bachelor’s in Physics, a master’s in Computer Science, and a doctor’s of Engineering Sciences. Currently, he is a fellow at Technische Universität Dresden teaching under-graduate and graduate classes. His main research foci are technology-enhanced education and Internet communication.

Karina was born in Dresden, Germany. She studied Physics at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. After working as a laboratory research assistant for several years, she now is a freelancing web developer.

Tenshi and Karina first came to Kona in 2011 for their honeymoon, and have been returning regularly. They came in contact with Hawaii Ocean Watch through the GreenList when looking for a sustainable activity provider for their Manta Ray experience during one of their visits to Kona as tourists. After living in Honolulu for a few years, they finally moved to the Big Island in 2016 and decided to give back by volunteering for Hawaii Ocean Watch.