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State plan will help protect the ocean

By Staff | Aug 1, 2013

Sunday’s Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area celebration and the West Maui Kumuwai campaign’s recent planting project at Canoe Beach are good examples of what can happen when a range of agencies and organizations unite to educate the community and promote environmental stewardship.

We are happy to see the state take this trend to an even bigger scale.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week Thursday signed the 2013 Hawaii Ocean Resources Management Plan, which brings county, state and federal partners together to ensure the sustainable use and conservation of Hawaii’s ocean and coastal resources for current and future generations.

“It is essential that government agencies at all levels work together to address Hawaii’s resource challenges,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

“Our lives are intertwined with the natural resources of these islands, from the local economy to our island way of life. This plan provides a clear roadmap for achieving a necessary balance between use and preservation.”

The plan was developed with the participation of county, state and federal agencies responsible for ocean and coastal resources.

It identifies 11 management priorities for the next five years – including appropriate coastal development and watershed management – and pathways for achieving goals.

The priorities are based on community outreach conducted in all four counties.

“The 11 management priorities address resource management challenges that can only be achieved through a statewide, coordinated effort among various government and community partners,” said Jesse Souki, director of the state Office of Planning.

“It addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, including the impacts of climate change and balancing economic, cultural and environmental considerations to ensure sustainable stewardship of our resources.”

To learn more about the plan and download a copy, visit planning.hawaii.gov or call the Office of Planning at (808) 587-2846.

Congratulations to the state for recognizing pressures on the ocean and critical issues that must be addressed.