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KKCC Applauds Papahānaumokuākea Presidential Proclamation

September 9, 2016, 9:54 AM HST
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Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument. Courtesy photo.

Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument. Courtesy photo.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce fully supports the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to include the full 200-nautical mile boundary, the organization stated in a recent press release.

As an organization made up of businesses committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability, KKCC has written testimony in support and has urged its membership to submit their support letters to the White House.

“Protecting the natural and cultural resources of Hawai`i is crucial for a healthy economy in this special place we call home,” said Executive Director Kirstin Kahaloa.

On Aug. 26, President Barack Obama proclaimed to expand the protected area of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument—an area with a dynamic and diverse marine ecosystem including coral, fish, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals such as the endangered monk seal.

“For Native Hawaiian culture, this is a sacred place, deeply rooted in creation and settlement stories,” KKCC said in its release. “In addition, the area is of great historic interest, with shipwrecks and aircraft loss during World War II battles.

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The proclamation has quadrupled the size of the monument created by President Bush in 2006 to 582,578 square miles and now extends the full 200 nautical miles of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, while preserving access for local fishermen on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.

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