Hawaii awarded $715,000 to protect state's coral reefs

Hawaii awarded $715,000 to protect state's coral reefs

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Those who study Hawaii's coral reefs are hoping a recent $715,000 federal grant awarded to the state of Hawaii will amp up both the education and conservation of the underwater ecosystems.

The Garden Island reports (http://bit.ly/2uKzq5v ) Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced Thursday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the grant to the state of Hawaii as part of a cooperative agreement between the organization and Hawaii's Division of Aquatic Resources.

Hirono says the money will be used to fund activities critical to the management and protection of Hawaii's coral reefs with a focus on the priority areas of West Maui and South Kohala.

Creating new rules to protect fisheries resources, educating the community on those rules, and enhancing enforcement are some of the goals for using the money.

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