Legislators learn about reefs

HONOLULU — Some of the Hawaii State Legislature is talking about ocean health today in an informational briefing for the House of Representatives Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs.

The talks will include representatives of Surfrider Foundation, the state Division of Aquatic Resources, Coral Reef Recovery Lab, University of Hawaii, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Coral bleaching, overfishing and pollution are the top three topics for discussion.

The briefing is set to from 10 a.m. to noon at the State Capitol. It will be broadcast on olelo.org as well.

“We’ve already lost 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs over the last 40 years and it’s time to take action to save what we can for our next generation,” said Rep. Chris Lee, co-chair of the Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs.

Rep Kaniela Ing, co-chair of the Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs, said the preservation and restoration of Hawaii’s reefs is vital for both the environment and the state’s economy.

“I want to make sure my committee members are educated, craft legislation based on expert testimony, but most importantly, I plan to push DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) to be more proactive,” Ing said. “I have invited the general public (to make) their leaders accountable and make sure action follows.”

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