Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2021


RE:   S.B. No. 508

      H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 508 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of Education to establish and administer an ocean safety and stewardship education program for all fourth grade public school students.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Ocean Tourism Coalition.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education.


     Your Committee finds that ocean safety and stewardship education will help prevent drownings and instill in students a sense of responsibility and respect for the ocean and marine environment.  Providing hand-on education to students in actual coastal marine environments, such as the beach, will enhance the students understanding and the importance of such environments.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Clarifying that the ocean safety and stewardship education program may be conducted at a beach or another appropriate location, in addition to onsite at the school;


     (2)  Authorizing the Department of Education to provide an opt-out process for elementary public schools that have other comparable programs or conduct water safety training at a different grade level;


     (3)  Changing its effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and


     (4)  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 Water & Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 508, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 508, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Education.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,