Crackdown On Marine Environment Law Violators

(KHNL) - People who harm Hawaii's precious aquatic resources, beware. A new partnership aims to crack down on environmental law violators.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Attorney General's office, and the University of Hawaii are teaming up to better protect the state's ocean environment. They say they've created a one-year law fellowship so they can more effectively deal with enforcement issues.

UH law school graduate Blaine Rogers is DLNR's first law fellow. He'll be working with the department's staff on identifying marine resource violations, such as coral damage or fishing violations, and preparing cases for prosecution.

"In addition to our people, our land, our water, the aina is clearly our most precious resource," Mark Bennett, state Attorney General, said. "And it is a resource that is under threat every single day."

DLNR officials say a case could go before the land board or the courts, depending on the violation.

Rogers, who specializes in environmental law, started working with the department last month.