Food for thought on reef safeguards

The 60 or so Kauaians who attended Monday’s meeting of the minds on protecting the coral reef ecosystems of the Nothwestern Hawaiian Islands are to be congratulated-and thanked.

As we said before the session that sprang from President Clinton’s call for reef safeguards, it was important for the public to accept the request of federal and state officials for input. And people here came through, serving up plenty of food for thought.

Even though most, if not all of them may never have seen the string of islands, reefs and atolls except on a map, the local citizens spent two hours with government representatives who ultimately will help craft a plan for preserving the coral environment as a natural wonder and a habitat for marine life.

If it was up to the Kaua’i contingent at Monday’s meeting, officials would either eliminate or put tight controls on motorboating, military operations, overfishing, chemical testing and other threats the citizens said are putting the reef system at risk.

Now that citizens of Hawai’i have spoken on this issue in a series of meetings that ended with the one in Lihu’e, it’s government’s turn to give them what they want: A well-enforced, sensible and effective set of rules for a treasured natural resource.


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