July 02, 2019

Senator Hirono Emphasizes Importance of Coral Reef Research in Visit to Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Facility on Coconut Island

HONOLULU, HAWAII – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono emphasized the importance of coral reef research during a visit to the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology’s facility on Coconut Island. During her visit, Senator Hirono met with scientists studying coral restoration, assisted coral evolution, and threats to coral reef ecosystem – including climate change.

“The unique ocean conditions in Kaneohe Bay make it an ideal location to study how different species of coral might respond to the growing threat of climate change,” Senator Hirono said. “Through the work of so many scientists and researchers at Coconut Island, Hawaii continues to lead a national effort in coral research, and I will continue advocating for essential research programs to receive the federal funding they deserve.”

During her visit, Senator Hirono also met with Hawaii public school teachers participating in a Maker Lab workshop. Supported by federal funding Senator Hirono worked to secure, the Maker Lab program provides teachers hands-on and authentic science learning programs that help them build more engaging science curriculum in their own classrooms.

Senator Hirono is a longtime advocate for programs supporting coral reef research. Last month, Senator Hirono joined Representative Ed Case in reintroducing the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act. This legislation directs federal agencies to use existing funding to establish a competitive prize competition focused on coral health. Senator Hirono has introduced this legislation each Congress beginning in 2016 when she first partnered with former Congressman Mark Takai in the effort.