WASHINGTON (KHON2) — President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan government funding bill on Sunday, Dec. 27, which included a provision from Sen. Brian Schatz that will increase protections for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument by starting the process to designate it as a national marine sanctuary.
[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]
The Shatz provision directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to begin the process to designate Papahanaumokuakea as a national marine sanctuary. The senator said the designation will have many positive ramifications.
NOAA can begin completing the requirements to finalize an official designation by holding public meetings and starting the formal legal process when the provision is initiated.
Sen. Schatz also secured $1.2 million for research and management activities at the marine monument in this year’s appropriations bill, a $200,000 increase from last year. The funding aims to bring new resources for keeping the Hawaiian archipelago healthy and productive.
Sanctuary status for the Monument would increase the difficulty to weaken protections put in place by previous administrations. Protections for Papahanaumokuakea were expanded by President Obama in 2016.
Latest Stories on KHON2
- Hawaii National Guard arrives in Washington D.C. ahead of Biden Inauguration
- Hundreds of appointments booked at mass vaccination sites on Oahu
- Tough decisions lie ahead for state lawmakers
- Flooding, outages, downed trees, and blown roofs as storm hits the state
- When can grandparents safely visit their grandkids after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?