Hawaii Ocean Management Receives $250K Federal Boost

February 9, 2012, 2:29 PM HST · Updated February 9, 2:30 PM
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Maui coastal waters, photo by Wendy Osher.

By Sonia Isotov

The Office of Planning Coastal Zone Management Program has received a $250,000 grant award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The competitive grant will help to strengthen the Department’s Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP) and implement the National Ocean Policy.

The ORMP, first adopted in 1994 and subsequently updated in 1998 and 2006, is a statewide plan that promotes an integrated approach to managing Hawaii’s marine and coastal zone resources.

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“Our island state is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, coastal development, and other natural and human influenced drivers,” said Jesse Souki, Director of the Office of Planning, in a written statement.

“Integrated management of our coastal and ocean resources through the ORMP ensures that we make sustainable resource management decisions that are informed by the best available ecological, social, and economic information. Federal funding like this grant is especially critical to the success of our programs during times when state funding is scarce.”

File photo.

President Obama’s National Ocean Policy sets forth guiding principles for management decisions and actions toward achieving the vision of “an America whose stewardship ensures that the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.”

In partnership with government (county, state, and federal), academic, and community partners, the ORMP is undergoing a mandatory evaluation and update in 2012-2013.

The update will result in a management plan that includes action activities, identification of lead and supporting entities for each action activity, performance measures, and implementation strategies.  The NOAA grant award will supplement this work and help align the ORMP with national and regional goals and objectives.

In addition to Hawaii’s significant cultural and natural resources, Hawaii’s ocean and coastal economies had a combined state gross domestic product of approximately $70 billion in 2009, including approximately $27 billion in wages, according to the National Ocean Economic Program.

More information on the Ocean Resources Management Plan and its Policy and Working Groups can be found at the ORMP webpage at http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/czm/ormp/ormp.php.

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