The State of Hawaii will receive $2,810,498 to protect shorelines, improve water quality and preserve coral reefs, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.
The money comes from two grants awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This award marks the 38th year that NOAA has provided ongoing funding to the State of Hawaii to administer its federally approved coastal management program.
"The Hawaiian archipelago is home to rare species of marine life and delicate coral reef ecosystems that must be maintained and protected. Our beaches and coastal zones are used by residents and visitors from around the world and it is important that we continue to invest in conservation and coastal management efforts. I would like to thank the administration for nearly four decades of helping Hawaii preserve our coral reefs and shorelines," said Senator Inouye.
"Coastal zone management, coral reef conservation, and watershed protection are important in promoting the economic and environmental well-being of our state. It is our privilege to live in Hawaii, and it is our kuleana to be good stewards of our island home. Native Hawaiian culture is infused with the values of responsible stewardship and recognition of what we should use from the environment today and what we need to save for future generations. We must continue this spirit of conservation to ensure Hawaii remains the unique island paradise that it is," said Senator Akaka.
"Mahalo to NOAA for its decades-long support of Hawaii's efforts to protect our shorelines, water quality, and coral reefs. We must continue to safeguard our coastal areas from erosion and inappropriate development through effective planning in order to preserve the natural resources that our residents and visitors value so highly," said Congresswoman Hirono.
"As the only state completely surrounded by water, we depend on the ocean for recreation, transportation, education, culture and-as with our fishermen and farmers-our livelihood. So it is important that we continue to maintain a careful balance between human use and protecting the health of our coastal areas and coral reefs. I would like to thank NOAA for awarding these grants that will help support Hawaii's coastal management program and assist in our restoration and conservation efforts," said Congresswoman Hanabusa, member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Of the grant money, $2,158,000 will be used to provide ongoing support of the Coastal Zone Management functions including policy analysis, legislative review, State and County Agency compliance, federal consistency, participation with the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative, public education and outreach, public participation through the Marine and Coastal Zone Advocacy Council, development of a coastal nonpoint pollution control program County implementation of the special management area permit.
The remaining $652,498 will be used to support priority management actions to protect coral reefs in the Main Hawaiian Islands including: supporting critical program staff, coordination of multi-agency efforts in priority coral reef sites, implementation of best management practices to address land-based pollution threats to reefs in priority watersheds, community action, restoration and response to invasive species, long-term coral reef monitoring, and scientific research with direct management applications.