DLNR/HDOA Joint News Release-Learn About Invasive Species and Hawai’i’s Biosecurity Plan, March 15, 2019

Posted on Mar 18, 2019 in Latest News

PUBLIC FORUM ON INVASIVE SPECIES & BIOSECURITY IN HAWAII

New Tools & Opportunities For Public Participation

(Honolulu) – As an island state, Hawai‘i is uniquely impacted by the threat of invasive species. Our endemic species and distinctive ecosystems evolved over millions of years in isolation from the rest of the world’s biota, creating a delicate balance that continues to be at risk from the arrival of non-native plants, animals, and fungi.

The most important partners in preventing the spread of invasive species are Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors.  The State of Hawai‘i Office of Environmental Quality Control/Environmental Council, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the William S. Richardson School of Law’s Environmental Law Program are pleased to announce a forum for interested people to learn about new developments in Hawaii’s biosecurity and invasive species efforts, and ways that you can engage in protecting Hawai‘i from this threat. The forum is scheduled for March 23, 2019, from 9:00am-12:00pm at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i, Classroom 2, 2515 Dole Street in Honolulu.

Impacts from invasive species include decline of native species through predation or habitat loss, reduced agricultural yields, introduction and spread of disease, and reduced quality of life for residents. In response to this threat, Hawai‘i’s government agencies and partners are working to increase biosecurity capacity, which is the set of policies and actions taken to minimize the impacts of invasive species. This includes work through existing programs, like the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) quarantine and inspection services, as well as new lines of collaborative research, such as the development of a mosquito “birth control” to limit the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

The first part of the forum will include presentations highlighting progress made under the umbrella of Hawai‘i’s Interagency Biosecurity Plan. It’s a 10-year framework for improving pre-border, border, and post-border biosecurity efforts. The forum will provide an overview of long-term goals set by the Biosecurity Plan, progress toward those goals, and a special focus on two primary areas of interest: HDOA’s efforts to modernize the process of import, inspection, and quarantine, and efforts by the Department of Health, DLNR, and other partners to improve mosquito detection and potentially develop landscape-scale mosquito control techniques.

The second part of this forum will include presentations on invasive species of particular interest to Hawai‘i residents, including opportunities for people to engage in detection, reporting, and control. This will include a focus on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, the fungus threatening our native ʻōhiʻa trees, and what everyone can do to help prevent the spread of this disease. The forum will include a discussion of the invasive tree albizia and what communities can do to control it. Finally, partners will present on the impacts of little fire ants in Hawaii and what residents can do to help detect new infestations or control ants on their properties.

 

FORUM SCHEDULE

Part I: Making Hawai‘i Safer through Better Biosecurity

  • Hawai‘i’s Interagency Biosecurity Plan, 2017-2027: A shared Path forward – Josh Atwood, Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council
  • Biosecurity at Hawai‘i’s Borders: Electronic Manifesting and Inspection Facilities –Jonathan Ho, Hawai‘i’s Department of Agricultur
  • Mosquitoes in Hawai‘i : Vector Control & Potential for Landscape-scale Control –Cynthia King, Department of Land and Natural Resources

Part II: Invasive Species in Hawaii: What the Public Can do to Help

  • Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death: Early Detection, Rapid Response, and How the Public Can Help –Ambyr Mokiao-Lee, University of Hawai‘i, and Rob Hauff, Department of Land and

Natural Resources

  • Albizia Control and Management in Hawaii: Opportunities for Public Engagement – John-Carl Watson, Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership
  • Little Fire Ants in Hawaii: An Overview of the Problem and how Residents Can Test their Yards – Cas Vanderwoude, Hawai‘i Ant Lab, and Erin Bishop, O‘ahu Invasive Species Committee

This event is free and will include opportunities for questions and discussion. Refreshments will be provided. Parking is available at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa parking structure

accessible via Lower Campus Road / Dole Street, for a flat rate of $6. The Law School is

located adjacent to the top level of the parking structure, accessible via stairs, elevator, or by parking on the top floor. For more information: [email protected]

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Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]