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Hawai‘i to Receive $770,000 to Protect & Enhance Watersheds

January 12, 2018, 3:00 PM HST
* Updated January 15, 11:21 AM
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The Ka’u Forest Reserve watershed. Hawai‘i DLNR

Sen. Mazie Hirono announced that the State of Hawai‘i will receive $770,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect and improve the state’s watersheds.

“Today’s investment recognizes Hawai‘i’s ongoing commitment to the protection and restoration of our forested watersheds, and will help enhance the health of our state’s unique ecosystems,” said Sen. Hirono.

The Hawaii Watershed Initiative supports projects that move forward the state’s goal of protecting 30%, or 253,000 acres, of Hawai‘i’s highest priority watershed forests by 2030.

Sen. Hirono continues to advocate for federal resources to safeguard and enhance Hawaii’s wate rsheds. In 2016, she convened a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee field hearing on O‘ahu to examine how federal partnerships protect and sustain Hawai‘i’s freshwater resources.

Sen. Hirono also successfully advocated for the inclusion of Hawai‘i’s collaborative landscape proposal, “Island Forests at Risk,” in President Barack Obama’s budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017.

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As a result, a total of nearly $27 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been provided to purchase and protect endangered species’ habitats, culturally significant areas, and ecologically important lands in the Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge and Volcanoes National Park.

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