Categorized | Agriculture, Government, News

Akaka to hold hearing on protecting Hawaii against invasive species Thursday (Oct 27)

MEDIA RELEASE

Governor Abercrombie, Hawaii Legislature Agriculture Chairmen, State and Federal officials to testify

Honolulu, Hawaii – This Thursday, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) will hold a field hearing in Honolulu entitled Safeguarding Hawaii’s Ecosystem and Agriculture Against Invasive Species. Witnesses include Governor Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii Legislature Agriculture Committee Chairmen Senator Clarence Nishihara and Representative Clifton Tsuji, and officials from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Interior. Testimony will focus on efforts to strengthen prevention initiatives, including agricultural import and entry inspection functions aimed at detecting and intercepting invasive species at Hawaii’s ports of entry.

“Invasive species already cost Hawaii hundreds of millions of dollars a year in lost agricultural revenue, property damage, and eradication,” said Chairman Akaka. “Invasive species such as the Brown Tree Snake or diseases such as Malaria threaten to permanently devastate our fragile island ecosystem, our economy, and our way of life. Focusing on prevention, by improving agricultural inspections at our ports of entry, is clearly a cost-effective strategy. I look forward to hearing from federal and state officials on how we can work together to prevent invasive species from permanently devastating Hawaii.”

Hawaii is home to more endangered species than any other state. The loss of animals and foliage unique to Hawaii combined with the introduction of pests and diseases not native to the islands would harm the state’s multibillion dollar tourism industry and forever change the character and quality of life found in Hawaii.

Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia
Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Chairman

Safeguarding Hawaii’s Ecosystem and Agriculture Against Invasive Species

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Conference Room, 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, HI

WITNESSES:

Hon. Neil Abercrombie, Governor, State of Hawaii

Hon. Clifton K. Tsuji, Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, Hawaii State Legislature

Hon. Clarence K. Nishihara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Hawaii State Legislature

Hon. James J. Nakatani, Deputy Director, Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Mr. Bruce W. Murley, Area Port Director, Honolulu, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Vernon Harrington, State Plant Health Director, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Mr. George Phocas, Resident-Agent-in-Charge, Office of Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior

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