All News Releases By Date
Alien seaweed information cards available to boaters
Release Date: 9/20/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711
HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources are making available waterproof seaweed information cards to educate boater, divers, and anglers in Hawai'i about alien seaweed and how to prevent its spread.
"Alien seaweeds harm Hawai'i's coral reefs and native marine life" said Alexis Strauss, Water Division Director, EPA Region 9. "These cards are an educational tool to help boaters, divers, and anglers recognize and control alien seaweeds that can easily infest the near shore marine environment."
The card set includes information on what everyone, boaters and residents who fish in particular, can do to help protect Hawaii's coral reefs from alien seaweeds. Measures include:
-drying dive gear, wetsuits and dive bag after each use;
-not dumping aquarium animals or plants into streams or coastal waters;
-not transplanting any alien organisms;
-reporting any unusual seaweed blooms to the state Division of Aquatic Resources;
-decreasing overfishing and joining alien seaweed cleanups;
-screening organisms coming into Hawai'i for aquaculture and research and;
-telling others about Hawai'i's coral reefs and the dangers of alien species.
"Alien seaweeds reduce fisheries habitat and cost millions of dollars to Hawaii's economy," said Peter Young, Chairman, Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources. "To prevent further spread of alien seaweeds, carefully inspect your gear and boat after visiting infested areas, such as Kaneohe Bay. Carefully remove all seaweeds and fragments you find and dispose of them in the trash."
The waterproof card set comes on a plastic ring that can be attached anywhere on a boat or tackle box.
The cards are one of the educational projects sponsored by a wetlands grant from the EPA to the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources' Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources. Additional assistance was provided by the Hawai'i Marine Algae Group, the University of Hawai'i and the Hawai'i Coral Reef Initiative Research Program.
Boaters and residents who fish can request a set of the cards and get more information on the program by contacting David Gulko at the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources at 808-587-0318, or the EPA at: 808-541-2710. There is a limited supply.