STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1125
RE: H.B. No. 588
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 588, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR HEEIA NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to maintain the initial staff necessary to develop and manage Heeia estuary.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources; University of Hawaii System; Office of Planning; Hawaii Community Development Authority; Koolau Foundation; Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club; Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus; Nature Conservancy Hawaii; Kamehameha Schools; and seventeen individuals.
Your Committees find that the State has coordinated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to nominate Heeia estuary as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. The site, located on Oahu's windward shore, includes Heeia State Park, Heeia fishpond, and the Heeia community development district, as well as marine waters with patch and fringing reefs and Moku o Loe (Coconut Island). In 2012, the Office of Planning was designated as the lead agency to coordinate the selection for a Hawaii site and the nomination process for Heeia to be designated as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. In 2014, Heeia was officially nominated as a Reserve to support NOAA's policy to encourage expansion of the program in unrepresented areas of the country.
On January 19, 2017, the Heeia site was officially designated as the twenty-ninth site in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, which enables federal funding to support the implementation of the management plan. Your Committees find that the Heeia site uniquely brings together community and science; federal, state, and local efforts; and modern science and traditional knowledge aimed at implementing and understanding how restoration efforts in the Heeia wetland influence the health of the adjacent estuarine ecosystem.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Updating the purpose section to reflect current information as provided by the Office of Planning;
(2) Inserting an appropriation amount of $400,000 for the hiring of four full-time equivalent (4.00 FTE) permanent positions within the University of Hawaii to maintain the initial staff necessary to develop and manage Heeia estuary;
(3) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2017; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 588, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 588, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Water and Land,
KARL RHOADS, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair