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U.S. EPA Awards $75,000 to Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources

Release Date: 7/22/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

Wetland restoration and monitoring slated for windward Oahu wetlands

     HONOLULU   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a $75,000 grant to the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources for wetland restoration and monitoring work at the Hamakua Marsh in Kailua, Oahu.

     The grant is part of over $1.5 million in funds being awarded this year through-out Hawai'i, California, Arizona, Nevada and the Pacific Islands for the protection of wetlands.

     "It is important to EPA to restore wetlands such as Hamakua Marsh and thus provide habitat for native Hawaiian species," said Alexis Strauss, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Water Division. "The information gathered from monitoring the wetland will provide a better understanding of what components are needed to sustain this Hawaiian ecosystem."

     The Hamakua Wetland Restoration and Monitoring Program will use the funds for work at the Hamakua State Wildlife Sanctuary to:

-re-establish habitats for native Hawaiian waterbirds and migratory shorebirds,
-involve the local community in caring for the wetlands,
-develop monitoring techniques to understand the biological health of coastal Hawaiian wetlands,
-establish a native wetland ecosystem.

     The program will also work to network volunteer organizations, students, and the scientific community in sharing information on wetlands restoration and management.

     Wetland areas are valuable in cleaning the water that recharges groundwater supplies, reducing flood risks, and providing habitats for fish and other wildlife. The EPA is working with local and state governments and communities to protect, restore and enhance wetlands by providing funding to develop wetland protection programs.
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