HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
requesting the legislative reference bureau to study the feasibility of establishing a water quality monitoring program for marine waters that emphasizes environmental protection.
WHEREAS, Hawaii is internationally renowned for its beautiful natural environment, including its pristine class A waters; and
WHEREAS, as a chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii's aquatic resources have special cultural, social, and economic significance; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii's class A waters provide a valuable economic asset that supports tourism, sportfishing, diving, and other ocean recreation businesses, as well as subsistence fishing for the local population; and
WHEREAS, individuals and groups are attracted and interested in using Hawaii's class A waters for business and economic development; and
WHEREAS, there is a growing interest in aquaculture development of open ocean fish farms and support infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, there is increased interest in the cruise ship industry; and
WHEREAS, because Hawaii's class A waters are held by the State in public trust, the State must wisely use and develop its ocean in a sustainable manner that ensures its long-term health and viability; and
WHEREAS, aquaculture, cruise lines, and other economic activities are important to the continued growth of the State's economy and the prosperity of its people; and
WHEREAS, however, such activities have the potential to degrade Hawaii's pristine waters by harming native fish and other marine animals, destroying ocean plants, endangering fragile coral reefs, and disrupting the overall marine ecosystem; and
WHEREAS, while the Clean Water Branch of the state Department of Health already tests Hawaii's marine waters, its emphasis is on protecting human health; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii additionally needs a water quality monitoring program that stresses environmental protection; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the Senate concurring, that the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) is requested to study the feasibility of establishing a suitable monitoring program that emphasizes environmental protection; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the study should include the following:
(1) The placement of the monitoring program within the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and its relationship to the Department of Health, the Office of Planning within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and the counties, in areas such as sharing of water quality data;
(2) The need to enact legislation that would provide the monitoring program with enforcement powers to take action against violators; and
(3) Possible sources to fund the monitoring program, such as an aquaculture development special fund, the real estate conveyance tax, or impact fees generated from activities that pollute Hawaii's ocean;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LRB consult with appropriate scientists and experts, environmental organizations, and ocean users as part of its study; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LRB shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Acting Director of LRB.
Regarding the feasibility of a water quality monitoring program.