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REWARD OFFERED IN THEFT AND VANDALISM OF RARE PLANTS
Environment Hawai`i has been asked to post the following notice:
NMFS to Consider Delisting North Pacific Humpback Whales
The National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that removing North Pacific humpback whales from the federal endangered species list may be warranted.
SUMMARY OF CURRENT ISSUES
Eight Years After EPA Banned Their Use,
Hana Clinic Still Relies on Gang Cesspools
The small Maui community of Hana is known for its remoteness, as attest the many T-shirts and bumper stickers that celebrate the long, narrow, and winding road that residents and visitors alike must travel to arrive there.
But for the last few months, Hana’s health clinic, run by the non-profit organization Hana Health, has been at the center of a dispute involving the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Hana Health itself, over who should bear the responsibility and substantial cost of removing the gang cesspools still in use at the clinic some eight years after being outlawed by the federal Clean Water Act.
Also in this issue:
Wespac Fails to Account for Food, Drink, At 2012 Reception it Hosted for CCC: We file our final report on the lavish spring 2012 meeting of the federal fishery managers at the Mauna Lani resort.
Board Talk: We report on highlights of recent actions by the Board of Land and Natural Resources regarding a kayak tour operation on Maui, the future of Oceanic Institute, a management plan for Pu`u Maka`ala, and more.
Debate Over La`ie Expansion Continues As Community Plan Nears Council Vote: We report on a recent hearing by the city's Zoning and Planning Committee on the Ko`olau Loa Sustainable Communities Plan.
Commission Barely Approves Time Extension to Review Petition to Designate Kona Aquifer: We follow up with the Water Commission’s initial response to the designation petition filed by the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park.
Walking on Water
Climate change portends huge disruptions to coastal states such as Hawai`i. That beach walk? In 40 years, you'll need your Wellies to stroll the same ground. By the end of the century, your great-grandkids will be donning hip waders.
That may well be the best-case scenario. Under some forecasts, which predict massive melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, anyone wanting to trace those same paths will need scuba gear.
And yet, state and county agencies responsible for defending vital infrastructure have not yet undertaken the work that will be needed to prepare against the day when coastal flooding overwhelms roads, harbors, sewage treatment facilities, and power plants. Legislators have not started budgeting for the massive capital outlays that will be required.
Hawai`i is fortunate to have moved past debate over whether climate change is real and to have begun laying the legal groundwork for moving forward. But, experts say, it is not too early to start the hard work of preparing for its inevitable consequences.
In this issue, our two cover stories – National Park Service Seeks State Control Over Aquifer System at Kaloko-Honokohau and Moving Beyond Climate Change Plans to Action Challenges State, Counties – discuss current efforts to start that planning.
We also include two related articles, In Hawai`i, a Long History of Plans for a Changing Climate, Few Actions and State Leaders Underscore Priority of Dealing with Water, Climate.
Our Board Talk column details a new program in the works to help the state Department of Land and Natural Resources secure funding to restore damaged coral reef ecosystems, a recent debate between the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Honolulu rail transit authority over rent payments, and efforts to resolve a dispute with a Kaua`i taro farmer who has been using state land without permission.
Fire Dangers Increase Exponentially
With Just a Small Rise in Temperature
If Andrew Pierce is right, Hawai`i is apt to experience hotter and faster-spreading wildfires with just a small rise in temperature. When a warming climate forces the thermometer to climb even higher, the impact on Hawai`i's environment will be devastating.
Our cover story, based on presentations from the 2013 Hawai`i Conservation Conference, provides a sobering look at the new breed of fire the islands will be facing with increased hot and dry spells.
Also in this issue:
Scientists Gather in Hilo for the 25th Annual Vitousek Meeting: We report on a handful of the 90 talks presented at the two-day gathering in Hilo.
Hawai`i is Quickly Becoming a Different Place: Jeff Burgett of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service describes how climate change has already affected the islands.
Damages from Little Fire Ant Could Top $170 Million on Big Island: Continuing our coverage of the Hawai`i Conservation Conference, we review the latest science relating to some of the state's worst pests: little fire ants, miconia, and mongooses.
How I Learned to Love to Weed: New Yorker Ava Prince, our summer intern, describes her forest restoration projects.
Kaua`i Drag Strip Matches Invasives in Appropriations: The state Legislature appropriated $2.5 million for improvements for a raceway in west Kaua`i, the same amount given this past session to the Hawai`i Invasive Species Council.
Fishery Council Members Are Unfazed
By Declines in Tuna Catches
What? Me worry?
That was the Alfredeneumanian response of the appointed federal fishery managers to the sobering report that the Hawai`i-based longline fishery is already seeing ecosystem effects from the ever-increasing catch -- both here and abroad -- of apex predators for the last two decades.
With market prices for bigeye remaining high, none of the members of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council seemed bothered by ominous signs that major changes in the food web deep below the sea surface are occurring.
The council’s solution? A call for more studies (of course).
In addition, the council heard a report from its select group of council-affiliated experts that the false killer whale population in pelagic waters around the Main Hawaiian Islands is growing and the animals are more abundant than estimates arrived at by independent scientists.
Also in this issue:
NMFS Ignores Letter of the Law in Extending Bigeye Quota Exemption: Whether it was the result of error or a deliberate act, the Commerce Appropriations Act of 2013 does not do what the National Marine Fisheries Service had wanted it to do. But never mind that. NMFS' new rules give the Hawai`i longliners the authority they need to ignore bigeye tuna quotas set in the Western Pacific for another year.
PLDC RIP, SPRBs, and SWACs: A Wrap-Up of the 2013 Legislature: Now that the dust has settled on the legislative session, we look at several of the environmental measures that made it into law. Although the marquee legislation was the repeal of the Public Land Development Corporation, several other bills with far-reaching consequences, for better or worse, made it across the finish line.
Author Responds to 'Restoring Paradise' Review: Robert Cabin defends his book, the subject of an unflattering review in the July issue of Environment Hawai`i.
Board Talk: Fishing Rules in Maui, Hawai`i Counties: The Land Board's deliberations over draft rules for the take of reef fish in Maui and Lana`i, and its approval of controversial rules for areas offshore of West Hawai`i, top this month's regular report on actions of the BLNR.
New & Noteworthy: Queen's Treasure, Albizia, and TAUs: The Queen's Treasure is finally back in service along the Ka`anapali Coast, after finding a partner with a valid permit. Hawai`i County is suing landowners over their failure to remove an albizia tree that extends over a public street. And a federal judge has tossed out a Kaua`i law limiting construction of new Transient Accommodation Units. comments (0 views) |
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In June 2013, Environment Hawai'i, a monthly newsletter, completed 23 years of continuous publication. We thank all of our loyal subscribers for your contributions to this astonishing run. Mahalo nui loa.
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Environment Hawai`i staff
Patricia Tummons, Editor
Teresa Dawson, Staff Writer
Environment Hawai`i, Inc. directors:
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