Safeguarding aquatic resources, creating green jobs

Posted on Jun 27, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Bills for ocean protection and green jobs youth corps will help maintain our state’s resources.

Bills for ocean protection and green jobs youth corps will help maintain our state’s resources. Photo by: Kaikea Nakachi

Hawai‘i’s ocean and land resources will be better protected, thanks to legislation passed this session and signed by the governor June 8, World Oceans Day. “These bills support my administration’s commitment to effectively manage the state’s nearshore waters,” said Governor Ige, with 30% established as marine management areas by the year 2030. The bills include: SB 3330 – Authorizes a three-year pilot program to assess the threats to marine life in the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District; HB 1653 – Establishes a tiered fine system for aquatic life that is taken, killed or injured; SB 2767 – Provides funds for fish aggregation devices used as an important resource for sustainable fisheries; SB 204 – Authorizes the use of in-lieu fee mitigation to preserve aquatic habitats.

Community supporters, legislators and state officials join the governor at Kewalo Basin.

Community supporters, legislators and state officials join the governor at Kewalo Basin.

Both the governor and Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) director, thanked lawmakers for addressing the threats facing the environment because of climate change. “We all know how critical our ocean waters are to life in Hawai‘i,” Case said. “While there’s still much work to accomplish, these laws will help Hawai‘i get closer to its overall goals.” The governor also signed a fifth bill to establish a green jobs youth corps. SB 2768 directs DLNR to administer a program of training opportunities in natural resource management, agriculture and other sustainability-related professions for young adults ages 26 and younger. He recognized the non-profit Kupu for the ʻāina-based internships it’s provided to young people over the years, including many who work in DLNR.

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter.

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