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PHOTOS: Hirono Visits Red Hill Clinic and Plants Native Trees at Palisades Elementary School

HONOLULU, HI – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) held events on Oahu focused on health care and protecting native plants. First, Senator Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, visited the Red Hill Clinic on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to learn more about the care being provided to families and individuals impacted by the Red Hill fuel leaks.

“The Department of Defense has a responsibility to look after the health and wellbeing of all the people impacted by the Red Hill fuel leaks,” said Senator Hirono. “I’m glad I was able to see the Red Hill Clinic and meet with physicians and staff, especially since the DOD recently announced that it will expand care to civilians affected by the fuel leaks, in addition to military personnel and their families. Protecting the health and safety of our servicemembers, families, and all of the impacted communities is a top priority and I’ll continue working to ensure the DOD uses its resources in order to safely defuel and close Red Hill once and for all.”

The Red Hill Clinic, which opened in January 2023, provides care to active duty service members and other beneficiaries experiencing symptoms that may be related to the Red Hill fuel leaks. After the clinic, the Senator went to Palisades Elementary School to attend the launch of the Garden Club of Honolulu’s Native Plant Project. During her visit, Senator Hirono planted a hala tree and a puakenikeni tree on the school’s campus, in recognition of April as Native Plant Month, and spoke with students, faculty, and staff.

“Hawaii is home to about 1,400 different native plant species, 90 percent of which are not found anywhere else in the world,” said Senator Hirono. “Native plants are crucial to the islands’ history, culture, and environment, which is why our communities prioritize the preservation of our unique biodiversity. I appreciate the efforts of the Garden Club of Honolulu and the commitment of our Leeward Oahu public schools to promote the importance of native plants to our students. I enjoyed speaking with the very enthusiastic Palisades Elementary students about the importance of protecting native plants and encourage everyone to learn more about their local native plants and explore opportunities to preserve these valuable species.”

Last month, Senator Hirono introduced a bipartisan resolution designating April 2023 as “National Native Plant Month” and recognizing the importance of native plants to environmental conservation and restoration, as well as in supporting a diversity of wildlife.

Photos of the Senator’s visit to Red Hill Clinic are available here

Photos of the Senator’s visit to Palisades Elementary are available here