Categorized | Environment

Hirono announces $3.1M for environmental, ocean efforts


Sen. Mazie K. Hirono has announced the release of more than $3.1 million from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for Hawaii environmental research, education and ocean management efforts.

Funds will support the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, University of Hawaii Marine Option Program, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research and state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“As one of the most biodiverse places in the world and our nation’s only island state, it is vital that Hawaii balances economic growth with natural resources conservation and environmental protection,” said Hirono. “These federal funds will promote a sustainable future for Hawaii through ocean research, education and management efforts.”

Funds are allocated as follows:

Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS): $2,272,845

This funding will support the efforts of the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) to develop the observational, modeling, data management, and outreach components of the observing system to generate products that help ensure a safe, clean, and productive ocean and resilient coastal zone for the U.S. Pacific Islands. Their four main thematic areas are: Coastal Ocean-State and Forecasting, Coastal Hazards and Resiliency, Water Quality Sensing, and Marine Ecosystem Information and Monitoring.

University of Hawaii Marine Option Program (MOP): $200,000

The Marine Option Program (MOP) is a system-wide program that helps guide the career paths of approximately 360 students currently enrolled in the program at multiple campuses. The program helps prepare students for specific ocean-oriented agencies through classroom and field experiences and has long-term ongoing programs and partnerships with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, National Marine Fisheries Services, and Alu Like Fisheries Observer Preparatory Training. This funding will help support both staff and student assistant positions within the program.

Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR): $185,000

Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) proposes to partner with established Pacific risk management organizations and state and local first-responders to facilitate the creation of one organization to enhance awareness of the Pacific coastal communities to natural hazards and disasters. This funding will provide PICHTR support for planning and outreach activities to develop and establish this stand-alone organization.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources: $466,182

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will use funding from their “Cooperative Conservation and Long-term Management of Hawaiian Monk Seals and Sea Turtles and their Habitat” project to support conservation and recovery efforts of Hawaiian Monk Seals, green turtles, and hawksbill turtles in the main Hawaiian Islands. Funding will also assist public education and outreach initiatives.

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