HONOLULU – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes to change the scope of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by increasing its size, expanding from a sanctuary that manages only humpback whales to one that manages all natural and cultural resources within its boundaries, and changing its name. A news announcement was made yesterday.
The sanctuary was originally established by the U.S. Congress in 1992, and approved with modifications by Governor Cayetano in 1998.
“As we consider how best to manage our resources going forward, the State will be looking carefully at the potential implications of expanding federal jurisdiction within state waters,” said Interim Chair Carty Chang of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
“The State strongly encourages people to comment on the plan. We will be evaluating public input and reviewing the draft management plan, draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and proposed regulations in light of what’s best for Hawaii’s public trust resources and for our communities,” he continued.
Any changes to the sanctuary in State waters require approval by the Governor.