Report Title:

Kaneohe bay; macroalgae

Description:

Appropriates funds for a demonstration project to remove invasive alien macroalgae that threaten endemic native corals in Kaneohe Bay.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2704

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES OF MACROALGAE.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that invasive nonnative plant and animal species pose significant environmental, economic and health threats to Hawaii's native ecosystems, watersheds, agriculture, tourism, and the general quality of life of the people of the State of Hawaii.

The waters of Hawaii contain various species of endemic corals, corals found no where else on earth. A number of these endemic corals, especially in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, are being killed off by introduced alien invasive species of macroalgae or seaweed. These rapidly growing seaweeds cover the endemic corals, block them from sunlight, and the coral dies. Nineteen species of macroalgae (seaweed) have been introduced to the island of Oahu since 1950, with at least four of these species being highly successful in propagating in Hawaiian waters. Some of these nonnative species appear to have spread throughout all of the main islands, while others are only found on Oahu. Similarly, some islands seem to be particularly susceptible to invasion while others appear immune. For example, despite the large blooms of the alien red alga Hypnea musciformis on west Maui, the islands of nearby Kaho`olawe and Molokini are not currently impacted by any species of alien algae. Several alien algal species were brought to Hawaii from Florida or the Philippines in the 1970's for commercial aquaculture projects that were later abandoned. Other alien plants were first noted in or around harbors, suggesting that the most likely vector of their transport was through ship fouling or ballast water discharge.

SECTION 2. The purpose of this act is to provide adequate funding for a three-year demonstration project to eliminate invasive macroalgae from one or more locations in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. The lessons learned from this demonstration project would then be applied to controlling invasive macroalgae on all islands. This act is also intended to fund a workshop of experts to obtain the best possible guidance on how to control or eliminate invasive macroalgae, and to conduct a public education campaign to help control the inadvertent spread of macroalgae by fishermen, divers, and others.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $150,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, for operational expenses related to:

(a) Conducting a demonstration project in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, to determine the best methods to control or eliminate invasive species of macroalgae that threaten endemic corals.

(b) A workshop of experts to develop the best methods to control or eliminate invasive species of macroalgae that threaten endemic corals.

(c) A community outreach and education program to inform the public of the threat posed to native corals by invasive species and how they can help prevent the spread of alien macroalgae.

SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. The department of land and natural resources shall submit an annual report on activities pursuant to this act. The report shall be submitted to the legislature and the governor not later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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