STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2836
RE: S.B. No. 3206
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2008
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 3206, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO KAWAI NUI MARSH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to provide continued community participation in the preservation and protection of Kawai Nui marsh.
Specifically, this measure creates the Kawai Nui Marsh Advisory Council within the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and it will consist of representatives of community and conservation groups and government entities. The council shall review and assist in updating the 1994 Kawai Nui Marsh master plan and facilitate the implementation of the master plan. The measure also requires the Council to enhance education and cultural awareness of the marsh and participate in the protection and preservation of its natural and cultural resources. The measure also appropriates an unspecified amount to support the work of the council.
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the City and County of Honolulu, and one concerned individual. Testimony opposed to this measure was submitted by the Hawaii Audubon Society. Comments on this measure were submitted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committee finds that the Kawai Nui Marsh is the largest remaining wetland in the State. Among its ecological treasures are primary habitats for a number of species of endemic and endangered Hawaiian birds. It addition, the Kawai Nui Marsh was designated a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention for the marsh's relationship to surrounding cultural sites.
Your Committee further finds that, despite advocacy and restoration efforts from many devoted community groups, the health of Kawai Nui Marsh has declined. Your Committee believes that the involvement of the community in the planning and implementation of programs in Kawai Nui Marsh is critical to maintain and increase public support for preserving this important wetland. Your Committee also believes that the creation of the Kawai Nui Marsh Advisory Council will engage government entities and community groups together in management of the marsh and will preserve and protect it for the future.
Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended this measure as follows:
(1) By clarifying that membership of the council shall include a representative of the Department of Land and Natural Resources State Parks Division, rather than the Administrator; and
(2) By making technical nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3206, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 3206, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair