The Hawaii ocean, coastal restoration and preservation programs could benefit from a portion of $368 million of proposed federal funding, if a bill advancing through the U.S. Senate ultimately becomes law.

A statement released by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s office today highlighted that the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill has passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It is now expected to move on to the full Senate.


View of the ocean from Maui.


In the current version of the bill, the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, which secures Hawaii coastal communities during emergencies, is slated to receive $26.88 million.

The bill proposes $29.5 million for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), which includes Hawaii’s PacIOOS, with an eye toward improving weather forecasting.

It also sets aside $26 million for NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation program, which aims to remove invasive species and restore fisheries and fishponds across the country. Hawaii and the National Marine Fisheries Service would get $10 million of that money.

The bill would direct $49 million nationally to help protect the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and $12 million nationwide to protect sea turtles.

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the Humpback Whale Sanctuary would get a portion of $49 million in funds.

NOAA’s Community Restoration Program, which assists local communities with flood control and protecting homes from high waves and storm surges, would see $52 million funds. The University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program would get a chunk of the $62 million proposed by the bill.

The Bay Watershed Education and Training program grants environmental education for Hawaii students would get $27.2 million.

If the bill successfully makes its way through the full Senate, it is unclear exactly how much money might ultimately make it to Hawaii.

This blog post has been corrected to reflect the press release came from Schatz’s Senate office, not his campaign.



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