Ke Ao Maoli
It has been another busy month in Hawaii nei. Here are the five things you should know to do your part in protecting the beloved natural and cultural resources of the Hawaiian Islands.
Take Action TODAY in support of County Council Resolution on Depleted Uranium !!
In a brave first-step, Hawaii Island County Council is calling for full disclosure about depleted uranium (DU) contamination at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA).
From our friends on the Big Island: Depleted Uranium contamination in the air and watershed poses tremendous risks to human health and the environment--impacts lasing many generations. The severity of the risks of DU upon human populations and the environment calls for immediate extensive testing of potentially affected areas. After 50 years of informed inaction on the part of the federal military and the state government to reduce and remove the toxic danger of DU in the Hawaiian environment, there is widespread concern that continuing activities in areas with DU contamination will only serve to increase the risk to the public.
Please support the Hawaii County Council Resolution 639-08 to address the hazards of Depleted Uranium at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA).
Quick + Easy! Submit a letter to Councilmembers in support of Resolution 639-08.
Takes just a minute!
NWHI Hearings Ended - One Week Left to Make Your Voice Heard!
The marathon of public hearings on the draft management plan for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument ended last week. The NWHI hui (members of 'Ilioulaokalani Coalition, Sierra Club, and KAHEA) attended EVERY hearing - even the one in D.C.
Big mahalos to everyone who came out and to everyone who has commented or signed the NWHI petition ! You can find some candid observations on the hearings at our blog.
While we're happy to have a draft plan on the table, we've read it and we really think that it can be much better! At the hearings, the three federal and state co-managers of the Monument confirmed that the Top 10 concerns from the public are identical to those of KAHEA and the NWHI hui (add link). Even with only 75-days to review and comment on a 1,200 page document, the public's voice and consensus is helping to shape the important discussion about the future of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
10 years and 100,000+ public comments helped tip the scales in favor of the protective rules that we see today. Our voices will continue to shape and uphold the protections for this fragile wahi pana and intact, endangered, and uniquely Hawaiian coral reef ecosystem.
If you haven't already, please sign the petition, submit your comments, and forward to friends!
Get a crash course in the draft management plan, watch the Honolulu public hearing on Olelo Community Television this month.
Bombs Away! Navy Claims State of Hawaii has No Authority to Protect Marine Mammals
RIMPAC wargames officially started on Sunday--signaling the first set of wargames in the Navy's massive expansion plan for the Hawaii Range Complex. This means: live fire exercises, high-intensity active sonar, and assault landings involving 10 countries, 150 vessels, and 20,000 troops will be occurring throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Unmitigated Expansion? Even as it seeks to expand its activities in Hawai.. i nei, the U.S. Navy has openly sent notice to Hawaii that it will NOT follow the coastal protection rules requested by the State. NOR will it comply with the terms of the Federal sonar lawsuit judgment won by Earthjustice on behalf of KAHEA, Surfrider Kauai, and the Marine Mammal Institute earlier this year.
To protect Hawaii's natural coastal resources, the State Coastal Zone Management Program has determined that the Navy must:
Not allow active sonar in nearshore waters to exceed the level considered safe for marine mammals and humans (145 decibels);
In all other situations, abide by the conditions already required by Judge Erza in the Federal District Court.
In fact, the Navy has now enlisted other government attorneys in an attempt to undermine the authority of Hawai..i to protect the resources of its public trust waters.
More thoughts on the Navy's refusal to follow the law on our blog.
Now is the time to let the State of Hawaii know that we support their efforts and they should stand strong to protect Hawaii's public trust waters.
Let them know: the Navy should abide by reasonable protections for the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii's coastal areas.
Please take just a minute right now to send a note of support to Hawaii's Coastal Zone Management Program.
State Board Upholds NWHI Refuge Rules
In its June meeting on Friday the 13th, the Hawai..i Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) quietly denied the permit application of HIMB disease researcher Greta Aeby, closing the final chapter in this historic enforcement action. State rules clearly say that permit applications from individuals with previous violations must be denied--"One strike, and you're out.
We've taken a fair amount of heat on this one, a few of you asking why we're urging strict enforcement against someone who is working on coral disease.
KAHEA has been acting as a vigilant watchdog--from the initial investigation through the contested case hearing.
Yes, it's true that coral disease is bad stuff. And yes, coral disease is an important concern in our oceans worldwide.
So what's the big deal? We believe strict enforcement is important because: Responsible research is not just about understanding the ecosystem and its resources.
It is about achieving that understanding in a pono way-by researchers who respect the cultural and natural significance of the resource, take responsibility for their actions, and are committed to following the rules put in place to protect this fragile and uniquely Hawaiian place.
In the end, we believe fundamentally that rules apply to everyone--whether you're a commercial fisher or an HIMB PhD. We commend the Board on upholding our public laws and the legal protections that the public fought so hard to put in place.
Maika'i! More on the KAHEA blog.
Awa + Mauna Kea = Chinatown Friday, July 25th!
Not exactly on Mauna Kea! but we will be honoring the spirit of the sacred summit of Mauna Kea while hosting an awa circle at Studio Be in Chinatown.
Right now, the Institute for Astronomy (IFA) is negotiating to build the "world's largest telescope" - called the Thirty Meter Telescope -- on the last pristine plateau on the sacred mountain. This telescope is so large all of the current telescopes could fit inside its footprint. Private consultants for IFA are already pushing a "telescope development" plan for the sacred summit that does not meet the court's requirements for a "comprehensive management plan," while at the same time they are appealing the court decision that requires that plan in the first place.
Join the KAHEA calabash 'ohana as we welcome one of our heroes, Kealoha Pisciotta from Hawaii Island, to enjoy awa and talk story about the sacred summit that she and many others have successfully defended from development.
Awa circle commences at 7:00pm. Pau around 10pm.
Donations help cover costs and are heartily welcome.
Mahalo to all who give! These e-newsletters, as well as all the work we do at KAHEA, is possible only through the support of individuals like you! We are committed to raising our money grassroots-style. And in the spirit of keeping it real, we do not solicit or accept any corporate or Federal money.
This makes your support all the more important!
You can support KAHEA's work by making a contribution online or by mail to 1149 Bethel St, #415, Honolulu, HI 96813.
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