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University of Hawaii to Receive Nearly $2.3 Million in NOAA Grants

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The University of Hawaii will receive $2,275,356 to help conserve, protect, and monitor Hawaii's marine environment, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.

The funding comes through five grants administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"To ensure the sustainability of our oceans, we must bring awareness to the many oceanographic issues confronting our community. Education, training, and outreach will save lives and promote sustainable development and conservation. Protecting our fisheries and marine habitats and preparing our communities for the threats posed by tsunami are key responsibilities of the federal government. I would like to thank the administration for these investments that will help us safely interact with the ocean while maintaining its natural resources for future generations," said Senator Inouye.

"I have been proud to support scientific research and educational programs throughout my career that improve our lives through discovery and development. These grants will advance efforts to protect our environment, resources, and communities from both man-made and natural threats such as climate change and tsunamis. I will continue to support these and similar programs that work with local agencies and organizations to make a more secure Hawaii," said Senator Akaka.

"Hawaii's waters offer marine scientists unique opportunities for research benefitting Hawaii's environment and people. Today's commitments by NOAA will help address important issues facing our island communities. Research will promote a sustainable Hawaii through a proper balance between ocean uses and protected resources. Other projects will help increase our understanding of events like tsunami and a warming ocean and climate, while improving public safety through better preparation for natural disasters," said Congresswoman Hirono.

"We in Hawaii have a complex and powerful relationship to our oceans, combining respect for their power and stewardship of their resources. These grants cover an array of efforts that will help us improve that relationship. While our state has been spared the direct effects of major tsunamis in recent decades, we know the threat they pose both from our own history and what we have seen across Asia in the past few years. We need to educate the public and plan for future events in order to prevent loss of life and mitigate the loss of property. We also know that we have a responsibility to study and preserve our ocean resources, balancing our needs with our effects on the environment. These grants will help us to meet those obligations," said Congresswoman Hanabusa, member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The five NOAA grants are:

$478,055 -- National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and National Weather Service Tsunami Ready Program
Two components:

1. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program
2. National Weather Service TsunamiReady Program Hawaii

Coastal zones are considered high priority for tsunami risk communications, education, and training programs due to the threat of local tsunamis generated by seismic activity on the island of Hawaii and distant tsunamis from continents along the Ring of Fire. The awareness that would be generated in the community through education and training programs regarding this potentially devastating force of nature can save lives and minimize property loss.The State of Hawaii will concentrate on the potential effects of local and distant tsunamis through new tsunami modeling technology and mapping; and will raise awareness by performing outreach, especially to the Special Needs population (i.e., Speech and Hearing Impaired, the Blind and Visually Impaired, and those with Limited English Proficiency).

$445,000 -- Western Pacific Fisheries Information Network
Western Pacific Fisheries Information Network (WPacFIN) The Western Pacific Fishery Information Network (WPacFIN) provides technical and operational support to participating fisheries agencies to supply timely, accessible and best-available fisheries data and information to scientists, researchers and managers within the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR), University of Hawaii, NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) and the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council. The data are also used to maintain the WPacFIN central database system and its NMFS PIFSC web pages. Participating fisheries agencies include American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

$351,000 -- Assessment and Management of Western Pacific Coral Reef Fishery Ecosystems and Habitat
Assessment and Management of Western Pacific Coral Reef Fishery Ecosystems and Habitat The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils FY11-13 Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreement includes three activities, which address coral reef fishery management in the Pacific Islands. The first activity supports a Coral Reef Ecosystem Coordinator. This coordinator will oversee the activities in the grant proposal and prepare briefing papers, documents, reports and presentations to the Council on any activity that pertains to or may affect coral reef ecosystems and habitats of the Western Pacific Region. The second activity will develop of coral reef fishery stock assessment models. The Council will hire two to three to analyze existing data on a single species or family group (as appropriate) using statistical methods identified by the Councils senior scientist with assistance from the Councils advisory groups and NMFS. The last activity will work with a contractor to determine coral reef ecosystem genetics and connectivity in the Pacific Islands.

$346,548 -- Profiling CTD Float Array Implementation and Ocean Climate Research
Profiling CTD Float Array Implementation and Ocean Climate Research The purpose of this proposal is to support the global Argo array of 3,000 profiling CTD floats through testing, deployment, and management of a subset of these floats and to perform scientific analysis including estimates of ocean heat variability using the float and other data.

$329,000 -- Human Dimensions of Fishing and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Pacific
(FY12) Human Dimensions of Fishing and Marine Ecosystems in the Western Pacific This JIMAR project seeks to collect and analyze sociocultural information relevant to current and pending fisheries management and marine ecosystem issues in the Western Pacific region. The need for information on the human dimensions of marine ecosystems is becoming more important not only in assessing the effects of management on individuals, households, and communities, but in identifying possible management alternatives and accompanying social, cultural, and economic objectives. This project has several activities and areas of focus: a survey of resident users at Hawaii coral reef priority sites; updates of fishing community profiles produced by JIMAR and NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC); and cooperative research examining potential socioeconomic effects of the 2011 adoption of annual catch limits (ACL) for managed marine species in US-managed waters.

$325,753 Protected Resources Environmental Compliance Initiative
(FY12) Protected Resources Environmental Compliance Initiative (PRECI) Begun in 2003, the PRECI directly supports the JIMAR theme of achieving a sustainable balance between the forces of coastal development and conservation/preservation goals by conducting research and performing outreach and education. Research conducted during the course of the PRECI will be used to assist resource managers in decision making and directing further investigation in habitat and protected species, enhancing interagency cooperation, performing outreach and education, and protected species conservation and recovery.

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