THE CORAL REEF SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH INNOVATION ACT was introduced by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Ed Case on Wednesday, during National Corals Week. Hirono noted that "Coral reefs play an important role in Hawai'i's maritime ecosystems, serving as a source of food, a place for recreation and tourism, and a source for coastal protection." She pointed to a U.S. Geological Survey study published in 2019 that estimated the flood protection value of coral reefs in Hawai'i alone at $836 million annually. Additionally, a study published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2011 estimated the total economic value of Hawai'i coral reefs to the American people to be $33.57 billion.
A family of Hawaiian Dascyllus Damselfish, āloʻiloʻi, gather around a stressed
cauliflower coral. Photo by Lindsey Kramer/Hawai'i Wildlife Fund
|Corals reefs in danger. Photo from state Division of Aquatic Resources|
Case said, "Healthy coral reef ecosystems provide the greatest biological diversity of all ecosystem types in the world. However, warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures are threatening their health and causing mass bleaching events, which cause corals to be more susceptible to disease and increase their chances of dying. Prize competitions that encourage public-private partnerships have an established record of jump-starting innovation to address our most complicated challenges. This measure will follow that model in determining the best solutions to the threats to our coral reef ecosystems and integrating them into our federal ocean management policy."
The Hirono statement said "pollution, overfishing, and rising ocean temperatures are threatening the health of coral reefs in Hawai'i and around the world, as evidenced by an increase in the frequency and duration of global mass bleaching events in recent decades."
|Flood protection value of coral reefs in Hawai'i alone is estimated at $836 million annually.|
Photo from NOAA
LAVA BREAKOUTS FROM FISSURE THREE have been observed high on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone, according to the Civil Defense report today. "The breakouts are expected to slightly slow the advancement of the main flow front of Fissure 3." Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 3 on Mauna Loa's northeast rift continues to erupt lava and the flowfront is 1.8 miles from Daniel K. Inouye Highway, the Saddle Road, which remains open in both directions. "No communities are currently at risk." Civil Defense reminded that "all areas adjacent to Daniel K. Inouye Highway, Old Saddle Road, and near the lava flow are closed and prohibited from access to the public for your safety due to hazards."
| A morning overflight on Dec. 7, provided aerial views of fissure 3 erupting on the Northeast |
Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. USGS image by M. Patrick
|Pearl Harbor National Memorial on Dec. 7|
NPS photo by L. Nowell
PEARL HARBOR DAY ON WEDNESDAY brought the order from the President of the United States and Gov. Josh B. Green to fly the U.S. and Hawaiʻi state flag at half-staff at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol and at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawaiʻi National Guard in the State of Hawaiʻi from sunrise until sunset on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Green said, "Today, the First Lady and I were able to honor in solemn remembrance at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial the sacrifices of the thousands of men and women who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, during an attack that shook Hawai'i and our nation." The U.S. President's proclamation can be found
at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/12/06/a-proclamation-on-national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day-2022-2022/. See the ceremonies on the Pearl Harbor National Memorial facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PearlHarborNPS/
|Pearl Harbour memorial ceremonies on Wednesday in Honolulu. NPS Photo by L. Nowell|
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