It’s official. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have scheduled two public meetings next month on the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

As Civil Beat reported last week, the feds want public input on U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’ proposal to expand the monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from its current 50-mile boundary out to the full 200-mile limit that’s under exclusive U.S. control.

“It’s really important for people to have an opportunity to be heard,” Schatz said in a statement Monday. “I am grateful to President Obama and his Administration for accepting my invitation to hear directly from Hawai‘i residents before making any decisions.”

The first meeting is slated for 5 p.m., Aug. 1, at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. The second is set for 4 p.m., Aug. 2, at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. Both are anticipated to be three hours long.

Written comments are also accepted, and people planning to attend are urged to RSVP.

This map shows the proposed expansion area around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

This map shows the proposed expansion area around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Courtesy: Sen. Brian Schatz

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