with devastating impact on our watersheds.We cannot tolerate a program that provides to little to late. An affective program to prevent and controlinvasive species introductions is essential to the quality of life in Hawaii.
Nearshore Aquatic Resources Sub Committee of the Natural Resource Committee
:Wayne Tanaka, Chair
1.Resources Enforcement and Aquatic Resource Management Needs More Funding
Our nearshore environment contributes greatly to the cultural, social, and economic wealth of thestate.
Recent economic analyses have estimated the value of our nearshore reefs at $34 billion dollarsa year, and that revenues generated from these resources approximate $800 million a year.
However,the amount of money that Hawai‘i invests in managing its aquatic resources has been ranked as 48
outof 50 states.
Similarly, Hawai‘i’s Division of Conservation and Natural Resources Enforcement(DOCARE), responsible for enforcing all natural resource, boating, state parks, and historic and culturalpreservation laws throughout the state receives less than $10 million a year.
In contrast, the HonoluluPolice Department, which is responsible primarily for enforcing county ordinances in populated areas onO‘ahu alone, has an annual budget of over $220 million dollars – over twenty times the amount ofmoney that DOCARE receives.
What will our legislature do to increase the capacity of our state agencies to manage our aquaticresources, and afford them a meaningful level of protection through enforcement and substantiverules?
Will they seek to invest meaningfully in the economic, social, and cultural foundation of ourislands?
Why did Department of Land & Natural Resources chairperson William Ail
state that he didnot request funding for more enforcement ofﬁcers because the Governor’s ofﬁce told him “not to gothere” at a DLNR budget brieﬁng?
Will our state’s Democratic Party recognize the need to startinvesting in our state’s most valuable asset, before it is too late?
2.Community Based Subsistence Fishing Areas
The concept of community-based subsistence ﬁshing areas (CBSFAs) traces back to the days of pre-contact Hawai‘i, when residents of an ahupua‘a abided by place-based kapu based upon speciﬁc andlocalized knowledge of the nearshore resources in the area.
Similar management approaches havesuccessfully allowed communities in other jurisdictions to sustainably and equitably utilize commonlyshared resources, and CBSFAs have repeatedly been cited as key to the successful management of ournearshore aquatic resources.
The Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) has had theauthority to implement CBSFAs since 1994, and communities from H
‘ena to Miloli‘i have workeddiligently to develop and share their CBSFA proposals with the DLNR.
However, not a single CBSFAhas yet to be implemented despite twenty years of having these approaches recognized by thelegislature.
Will the DLNR propose budget appropriations or other legislation to ﬁnally get a CBSFA program off theground?
Will our legislators on the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Committees providethe funding to support such requests?
Invasive Species Control
The Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council is an interagency body tasked with addressing the threats to Hawai‘i’seconomy, public health, and natural and cultural resources from invasive species.
In the aquatic resourcescontext, much funding has been invested in the council’s Supersucker partnership, which employs a ﬂoatingbarge and vacuums to carefully clean our nearshore reefs of invasive species such as gorilla ogo andmudweed.
However, this funding has been largely provided by third parties including the federal governmentand The Nature Conservancy.
As these funds dry up, will our legislators fulﬁll the DLNR’s request to ﬁnallyensure stable funding for this important and highly successful project that maintains the state’s nearshore