STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3682
RE: H.B. No. 2036
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 2036, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CORAL RESTORATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish the Ocean Coral Restoration Project to require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to plan and design an expansion of the Coral Restoration Nursery, including improvements to the sea urchin hatchery.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawai‘i System, Friends of Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that in recent years, coral reefs in Hawaii have experienced widespread bleaching and mortality events due to warmer than average ocean temperatures. Coral reefs face pressures from rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification as temperatures warm. In Hawaii and across the Pacific, coral reef ecosystems provide jobs and opportunities for recreation, contribute greatly to tourism, support subsistence fishermen and their families, and provide the vitally important function of protecting vulnerable coastlines. Disappearing coral reefs result in significant economic losses, as well as damaging ecological and social impacts.
Your Committee further finds that the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources Coral Restoration Nursery is working to mitigate human impacts on Hawaiian coral reefs by growing indigenous corals in an ex-situ environment, and out-planting nursery-grown corals to restore valuable habitat. The nursery aims to place healthy coral into the ocean as soon as possible in areas where it is most needed after experiencing significant damage or losses. This measure establishes the Ocean Coral Restoration Project to expand the Coral Restoration Nursery and help recover and protect the State's reef ecosystem.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2036, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair