Public meetings held on the expansion of Papahanaumokuakea National Monument

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A public meeting at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu Monday night drew more than 300 people.

The topic was whether to expand the current boundaries of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Senator Brian Schatz submitted a proposal for the expansion in June to protect the marine life.

Some fishermen, local chefs, and others, including former Governor George Ariyoshi are opposed to it.

“The position i’m taking is don’t ban everything. The ocean is our background. We are totally surrounded by the ocean. And it’s our ocean and we should be the ones to decide what to do with the ocean,” said Ariyoshi.

NOAA’s holding another public meeting to talk about this on Aug. 2 on Kauai from 4-7 p.m. at Kauai Community College’s Performing Arts Center.

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