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Awards Highlight Success in Fight Against Invasive Species

March 13, 2017, 2:42 PM HST
* Updated March 13, 2:46 PM
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Video courtesy of DLNR.

Gov. David Ige proclaimed the 5th annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW) at a ceremony on Friday, March 10, that included agency leaders, legislators, industry champions and citizens who help project Hawai‘i from the impacts of invasive species.

The governor presented the proclamation to members of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC), the interagency board responsible for policy direction and cross-sector coordination on invasive species issues.

In addition to the proclamation from Gov.Ige and awards ceremony, HISAW 2017 included a student video contest, community presentations, and numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the state.

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Addressing invasive species is a critical component of this administration’s vision for the state’s future, as described in the recent Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan and the Sustainable Hawaii Initiative.

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In partnership with the HISC, legislators presented a series of awards to community members and businesses who have made substantial contributions to invasive species prevention and control.

Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week award winners. March 2017. Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor.

Front row, left to right:

  • Sandy Webb, Oahu MVP 2017
  • Serina Marchi of Kauai Seascapes Nursery, Business Leader 2017
  • Carolyn Dillon, Hawai‘i County MVP 2017
  • Rosalyn Concepion for the Pacific American Foundation, Community Hero 2017
  • Kawika Winter, Kauai MVP 2017
  • Solomon Champion, Greatest Hit 2017
  • Dave DeLeon for Haiku Hill Community, Maui MVP 2017

Back row, left to right:

  • Sen. Mike Gabbard
  • Leo Asuncion, DBEDT
  • Kenneth Grace, UH CTAHR
  • David Rodriguez, HIDOT
  • Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle
  • Gov. David Ige
  • Little Fire Ant
  • Sen. J Kalani English
  • Suzanne Case, DLNR
  • Rep. James Tokioka
  • Rep. Richard Creagan
  • Keith Kawaoka, DOH
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Reps. Richard Creagan, Nicole Lowen, James Tokioka, Dee Morikawa, and Nadine Nakamura joined Sens. Mike Gabbard and J. Kalani English in highlighting the importance of this issue for Hawai‘i.

The governor, legislators and HISC members were joined by two giant invasive species—costumed versions of a Little Fire Ant and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle—provided by the O‘ahu Invasive Species Committee.

The awardees for “Greatest Hit of 2017,” “Community Hero” and “Business Leader” were selected from community nominations, and “County MVP” awards were selected by the University of Hawai‘i’s Invasive Species Committees. An award for the “Hottest Pest Hotline Report” was nominated by the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

“While there is much work to do, this event is an opportunity for us to celebrate successes,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case. “The awardees today exemplify how much Hawai‘i’s communities care about protecting Hawaii’s natural resources, agriculture, and way of life from invasive species.”

About Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week

HISAW is organized in coordination with the U.S. National Invasive Species Awareness Week and regional Pacific Invasive Species Awareness efforts. The event promotes information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared “the single greatest threat to Hawai‘i’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai‘i’s people.”

Full information is available online.

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