Photo Credit: Hawaii Invasive Species Council
Today marks the start of Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week that runs through Sunday, March 9. A proclamation and awards ceremony was held this morning at the Capitol Auditorium to kick off the week.
Senator Ruderman presenting a Senate certificate honoring the Hawaii County Council
This is the second year the State has hosted Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW). The purpose of HISAW is to promote information sharing and public engagement to eradicate and prevent the growth of invasive species.
Representatives from Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership pose with their display boards on their efforts to preserve and protect Oahu’s water supply.
All week long, events will be taking place throughout the state to bring awareness to the issue of invasive species. For a full list of the events, please visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/2014events/
Senator Ruderman with a fire ant mascot
Through Act 85, Session Laws of Hawaii 2003, the legislature stated that “the silent invasion of Hawaii by alien invasive species is the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy, natural environment, and the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people and visitors.” The Hawaii Invasive Species Council, an inter-departmental collaboration, was created as a result to provide policy level direction, coordination, and planning among state departments, federal agencies, and international and local initiatives for the control and eradication and prevention of harmful invasive species infestations throughout the State and for preventing the introduction of other invasive species that may be potentially harmful.
Hawaii is one of the first states in the Nation that recognized the need for coordination among all state agencies, at a cabinet level, that have responsibility to control invasive species on the ground, as well as regulate or promote the pathways in which invasive species can gain access into the State.
This legislative session, the State Senate has considered several bills to support efforts to eradicate, control and prevent the spread of invasive species in the state.
SB2423 would appropriate $5,000,000 to fund the mission of the Invasive Species Council.
SB2347 SD2 would prevent the spread invasive species such as coqui frogs from one island to another by requiring nursery stock to treat plants for pests before the sale or transfer of potted plants.
SD2920 SD2 would establish a little fire ant pilot project to address the spread of the pest and to develop strategies to eliminate the threat of the pest statewide.
SB2423, SB2347 SD2 and SD2920 SD2 have all passed out of committee and sent to the Senate floor for third reading where, if approved, will then move to the House for consideration. Senators are expected to take these measures up during a full floor session on Tuesday, March 4.
Posted by Hawaii Senate Majority Caucus