EXCLUSIVE: Lawmakers call for more security at Kaena Point
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The deaths of at least three albatross and the destruction of 15 nests at Kaena Point back in December has prompted state lawmakers to call for heightened security at the remote nature reserve.
"This measure provides funds to help protect Kaena Point. It provides law enforcement to have more of a presence out there with more and better equipment," said state Sen. Will Espero, (D) Ewa Beach.
A pair of bills introduced by both the House and Senate state lawmakers, will require park users to pay entry fees to pay for the additional security and educational staff. Park users will also have sign in at the gate when they visit Kaena Point.
"It's protect the monk seals, the turtles, the albatross, those creatures that need our protection. And sadly, it's the humans and the dogs that are doing the destruction," Espero said.
There were about 75 active Laysan Albatross nests at Kaena Point before the vandalism occurred. The destruction of the nests have devastated the colony.
The vandals allegedly also took cameras and sound equipment meant to monitor the birds.
So far, no arrests have been made but state and federal law enforcement have interviewed several current and former Punahou School students, who were allegedly at the park when the birds were killed.
The Senate Water, Land and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on its version of the bill on Monday. The House will likely be hear measure later this session.
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