January 12, 2018

Hirono Announces $770,000 to Protect and Enhance Hawaii’s Watersheds

USDA Funding Supports State’s Goal of Protecting 30% of Hawaii’s Watershed Forests by 2030

Senator Hirono announced that the State of Hawaii will receive $770,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect and improve Hawaii’s watersheds.

“Today’s investment recognizes Hawaii’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 Senator Hirono.

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

Senator Hirono continues to advocate for federal resources to safeguard and enhance Hawaii’s watersheds. In 2016, Senator Hirono convened a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee field hearing on Oahu to examine how federal partnerships protect and sustain Hawaii’s freshwater resources. Senator Hirono also successfully advocated for the inclusion of Hawaii’s collaborative landscape proposal, “Island Forests at Risk,” in President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. 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.