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Hawai‘i to Receive $715,000 for Coral Reef Protection

July 20, 2017, 11:31 AM HST
* Updated July 20, 12:02 PM
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Coral bleaching in West Hawai‘i. Photo credit: The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) announced today that Hawai‘i will receive $715,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to fund activities critical to the effective management and protection of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs.

 

“Coral reefs are an important part of Hawai‘i’s marine environment and generate hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy every year,” said Sen. Hirono. “Even as the Trump Administration denies the existence of climate change, it is critically important that we invest in the science that will help us respond to the very real threat of climate change, maintain a healthy coral reef ecosystem and recover from recent serious bleaching events.”

The federal funding announced today will help improve management of coral reef ecosystems, support greater capacity to enforce coral reef protections, promote increased understanding of the key threats to reef ecosystems at priority sites, and continue progress toward implementing the objectives of the Hawaii Coral Reef Strategy.

The grant funding is part of a cooperative agreement between NOAA and the State of Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources to support the protection of coral reefs across the state, with a focus on the priority areas of South Kohala on the Big Island and West Maui

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Earlier this year, Sen. Hirono co-introduced legislation with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to address increasing threats to coral reef ecosystems due to climate change.

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