About The Kaʻū Calendar

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs April 15, 2024

Schools in Kaʻū and beyond can become Ocean Guardian Schools, with funding from NOAA.
Photo from NOAA

FUNDING FOR HAWAI‘I SCHOOLS THAT COMMIT TO BE OCEAN GUARDIAN SCHOOLS is available with a deadline to apply on June 1 through the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The program supports PreK-12 teachers and students to promote watershed education and ocean stewardship in the school and community.
    An Ocean Guardian School makes a commitment to protect and conserve local watersheds, the world's oceans, and special ocean areas. Each school proposes and implements a school-or community-based conservation project. Grant applications range from $1,000 to $4,000 per school. The application is available at https://nmssanctuaries.blob.core.windows.net/sanctuaries-prod/media/docs/2024-ogs-application.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=GovDelivery In Hawai‘i, for more information, contact mahealani.bambico@noaa.gov

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

PUTTING INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACES NEAR THE OCEAN SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED, according to a new University of Hawai‘i study by Earth scientists. A statement from UH says, “As sea levels rise, coastal groundwater is lifted closer to the surface while also becoming saltier and more corrosive." It says that "networks of buried and partially buried infrastructure have increased danger of corrosion and failure of critical systems such as sewer lines, roadways and building foundations due to interaction with this shallower and saltier groundwater."
    Shellie Habel, lead author and coastal geologist in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), said, “While it has been recognized that shallowing groundwater will eventually result in chronic flooding as it surfaces, what’s less known is that it can start causing problems decades beforehand as groundwater interacts with buried infrastructure. This knowledge gap often results in coastal groundwater changes being fully overlooked in infrastructure planning.”
    The research team aimed to create awareness about these issues and offer guidance from world experts on managing them. Habel and co-authors reviewed existing literature to examine the diverse effects on different types of infrastructure. Additionally, by employing worldwide elevation data and geospatial data that indicate the extent of urban development, they identified 1,546 low-lying coastal cities and towns globally, where around 1.42 billion people live, that are likely experiencing these impacts.
    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report tells us that sea-level rise is an unstoppable and irreversible reality for centuries to millennia,” said Chip Fletcher, study co-author, interim dean of SOEST, and director of the UH Mānoa Climate Resilience Collaborative  “Now is the time to prepare for the challenges posed by this problem by redesigning our communities for greater resilience and social equity.”
    The report states that "Well before the visible effects of surface flooding, sea-level rise pushes up the water table and shifts salty water landward. With this, the subsurface environment becomes more corrosive to critical underground infrastructure networks—buried drainage and sewage lines can become compromised and mobilize urban contamination, and building foundations can weaken." It says that
"Extensive research conducted by CRC has substantiated that critical infrastructure around the world, including drainage and basements, is likely currently experiencing flooding from rising groundwater levels.
    “The damage caused by sea level rise-influenced coastal groundwater is often concealed and not immediately perceptible,” said Habel, who is based at CRC and Hawaiʻi Sea Grant in SOEST. “As a result, it tends to be overlooked in infrastructure management and planning efforts.”
    Habel said that “Being aware of these hidden impacts of sea-level rise is of significant importance for the State of Hawaiʻi due to the concentration of communities situated along low-lying coastal zones where groundwater is generally very shallow.”
    CRC collaborates with partners across the nation and infrastructure managers in Hawaiʻi to gain a comprehensive assessment of how vital infrastructure, encompassing pipe networks, roadways and buildings, is impacted. "Understanding the impacts and risks associated with sea level rise-influenced coastal groundwater enables more effective management and adaptation," according to CRC.

 To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

IT'S CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TIME AT THE HAWAI‘I LEGISLATURE. Public Access Room has produced a video to help the public learn which bills have passed over the Senate or state House of Representatives and has noted that sessions are not only live but available on YouTube.
    During conference, legislators work on final versions of the bills that they want to send off to the governor. No more public testimony is accepted, but citizens can still make their voices heard. Learn about what goes on, how to advocate, and how to keep track of things during conference.
     Watch Video at https://lrb.hawaii.gov/par/video-on-the-conference-process/
    Follow bills and learn more at capitol.hawaii.gov.
Bill deadlines in the weeks ahead are:
April 22 = Executive Budget (HB1800) Decking
April 25 = Final Decking (non-fiscal bills)
April 26 = Final Decking (fiscal bills)
May 3 = End of session, Last day for Final Reading
    Conference takes place from Monday, April 15, through Friday, April 26. The function of conference committees is to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Bills must move out of conference and be decked for final reading by the Final Decking deadlines (April 25 for non-fiscal bills, April 26 for fiscal bills).

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.