Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversaries of the establishment of Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge on O‘ahu.
The resolution, cosponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), celebrates the two refuges while acknowledging the wonders of Hawai‘i’s eight other national wildlife refuges. The resolution also encourages people in Hawai‘i and across the country to learn about, support and appreciate these refuges.
“Each of Hawai‘i’s 10 national wildlife refuges plays an important role in protecting threatened and endangered species,” said Hirono. “As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor and Hanalei National Wildlife Refuges, I am glad to lead this resolution recognizing and celebrating these sites and the progress we’ve made in protecting Hawai‘i’s fish, wildlife and plants. I’ll continue working to support conservation efforts in Hawai‘i and across our country.”
Established more than 100 years ago, the National Wildlife Refuge System aims to protect and conserve local wildlife and native species. Across the U.S., there are more than 560 national wildlife refuges, managed and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge was established on Oct. 17, 1972, to mitigate the environmental impacts of the construction of the Honolulu International Airport Reef Runway. It protects some of the last remaining wetlands on O‘ahu and is home to threatened and endangered wildlife and plants, such as the Hawaiian stilt and the akoko.
The Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge was established on Nov. 30, 1972, to aid in the recovery of threatened and endangered species, such as the nene (Hawaiian goose). It consists of 917 acres in Hanalei Valley, and provides an important habitat for a wide array of fish, wildlife and plants.
Hirono has championed legislation to protect Hawai‘i’s environment, fish, wildlife and plants. Recently, she introduced legislation authorizing $55 million in federal funding over the next 11 years to support ongoing efforts to help combat rapid ‘ohi‘a death in Hawai‘i.