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Senate Passes Hirono Resolution Designating April as ‘National Native Plant Month’

~ Earlier today, Senator Hirono and UH President David Lassner visited the Lyon Arboretum in Manoa to plant ohia lehua trees and tour the grounds ~

HONOLULU, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced Senate passage of her bipartisan resolution designating April 2024 as “National Native Plant Month.” The resolution, which passed the Senate unanimously and was also led by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), recognizes the importance of native plants to environmental conservation and restoration, as well as in supporting a diversity of wildlife. Earlier today, Senator Hirono and University of Hawaii (UH) President David Lassner visited the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum in Manoa to plant ohia lehua trees and tour the grounds.

“Hawaii is home to more than 40 percent of our country’s endangered and threatened plant species, and native plants are significant to our state’s history, culture, and environment,” said Senator Hirono. “In Hawaii, we recognize the importance of preserving our unique biodiversity and understand the need to continue raising awareness of native plant populations. During today’s visit to the Lyon Arboretum, we learned about several different native plant species on their grounds and contributed to that environment by planting two new ohia lehua trees. I am proud that our bipartisan resolution recognizing April as National Native Plant Month has passed in the Senate. It highlights the importance of native plants in our communities and encourages all Americans to learn more about native plants in their own communities.”

The bill is endorsed by more than 200 organizations across the country, including 16 organizations from Hawaii: Aha Punana Leo, Ahahui o na Kauka, Bishop Museum, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaii Land Trust, Iolani Palace, Kamehameha Schools, Laukahi: The Hawaii Plant Conservation Network, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Native Hawaiian Education Council, Papa Ola Lokahi, Pouhana O Na Wahine, Sierra Club of Hawaii, and The Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Hirono has championed legislation to protect Hawaii’s environment, fish, wildlife, and plants, while also working to support local farmers and agriculture, and speed the transition to clean, renewable energy in Hawaii and across the country. In February 2024, Senator Hirono announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is awarding over $4 million in funding to various programs and initiatives across Hawaii to prevent the imminent extinction of Hawaiian forest birds. In September 2023, Senator Hirono introduced the AuGmenting Research and Educational Sites to Ensure Agriculture Remains Cutting-edge and Helpful (AG RESEARCH) Act, legislation to provide billions in funding to address deferred maintenance at U.S. schools of agriculture, including the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH CTAHR), and USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facilities. In May 2023, Senator Hirono introduced the Extinction Prevention Act, bicameral legislation to provide much-needed funding for some of the country’s most imperiled yet vastly underfunded wildlife species, including threatened and endangered North American butterflies, various Pacific Island plants, freshwater mussels, and Southwest desert fish.