Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the North Maui Coastal Preservation Act of 2012, a bill directing the National Park Service to study the suitability and feasibility of designating certain lands along the northern coast of Maui, between Sprecklesville and Paia, as a unit of the National Park System. I have previously introduced this bill in the 110th and 111th Congresses.
The citizens of Maui strongly support preservation of this coast, which provides important open space and public beach areas.
The beautiful coastline of North Maui is under significant development pressure. Its closeness to major population centers in Maui and its popularity with both visitors and residents makes protecting access a major priority.
Supporters of this park have asked that it be named after Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink, a native of Maui who grew up in the Hamakua Poko/Paia area. While this bill, which authorizes a study, does not direct what the prospective national park would be named, I would certainly support naming it after Patsy Mink, whose commitment to the people of the island and state was without question.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill.