Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2023


RE:   H.B. No. 761

      H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 761 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds for coral reef restoration and habitat enhancement efforts of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii State Aha Moku, and two individuals.


     Your Committee finds that coral reefs play a vital role in the State's marine ecosystem.  Healthy coral reefs support biodiversity and subsistence, recreational, and commercial fishing.  Your Committee further finds that global stressors, including climate change and damage from severe weather, and local stressors, such as ship groundings and overfishing, threaten Hawaii's valuable coral reefs.  Your Committee believes additional funding is needed for coral reef restoration and habitat enhancement projects to provide crucial support to protect the State's valuable coral reefs and nearshore fisheries for future generations.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and


     (2)  Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.


     Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider an appropriation amount of $500,000 for the coral reef restoration and habitat enhancement efforts.


     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 H.B. No. 761, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 761, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.



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