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Senator Hirono Announces Federal Funding to Support Protection of Hawaii’s Coral Reefs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced today that Hawaii will receive $715,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fund activities critical to the effective management and protection of Hawaii’s coral reefs.

“Coral reefs are an important part of Hawaii’s marine environment and generate hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy every year,” said Senator Hirono. “Even as the Trump Administration denies the existence of climate change, it is critically important that we invest in the science that will help us respond to the very real threat of climate change, maintain a healthy coral reef ecosystem, and recover from recent serious bleaching events.”

The federal funding announced today will help improve management of coral reef ecosystems, support greater capacity to enforce coral reef protections, promote increased understanding of the key threats to reef ecosystems at priority sites, and continue progress toward implementing the objectives of the Hawaii Coral Reef Strategy.

The grant funding is part of a cooperative agreement between NOAA and the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources to support the protection of coral reefs across the state, with a focus on the priority areas of West Maui and South Kohala.

Earlier this year, Senator Hirono co-introduced legislation with Representative Colleen Hanabusa to address increasing threats to coral reef ecosystems due to climate change.