DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
Species Council Awards Research Grants
HONOLULU— The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) has approved contracts for 18 research and technology projects targeted to help the state deal with invasive species priorities. Total cost of the 18 projects is $600,000, and they will be matched with $711,000 in non-state funding matches.
The projects will provide information that is needed to help the state improve its ability to detect and control alien invasive species.
“When it created the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) in 2003, the Legislature found that invasive species represent a ‘silent invasion’ that posed the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy, natural environment and the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people and visitors,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
“Hawaii is one of seven states in the nation that has recognized the need for coordination among all state agencies, at a cabinet level, that have responsibility to control invasive species on the ground, as well as to regulate the pathways by which invasive species can gain access into the state,” he said.
Since 2003, HISC member agencies, composed of the directors of chairs of the Departments of Land and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Transportation, Health, University of Hawaii, as well as Hawaiian Home Lands, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and Defense, have met to develop a comprehensive state-wide invasive species program. This program is based on prevention, control, research and outreach activities.
“HISC first received a budget of $4 million in fiscal year 2005 (FY05) to develop four program thrusts. In FY06, $675,000 was budgeted for the second year of research and technology program grant awards. For the same FY06 year, the prevention program received $1,516,535, the response and control program received $1,560,000 and public education and outreach received $248,465.
Fifty proposals were received, applying for the FY06 technology program grant awards. Each was ranked based on the urgency of the species or issue they addressed, how rigorous the science was and the likelihood that the project would produce usable results. HISC grant reviewers noted how interesting the selected projects were, and are looking forward to seeing results
Projects will receive funding for studies of: invasive ant control, brown tree snake attractant and baits, biocontrol of Erythrina gall wasps that have devastated native wiliwili trees; aquatic alien species; rodenticide efficacy, nettle caterpillar lure, coqui-free certification, biocontrol of Miconia and Himalayan blackberry; West Nile Virus, multi-pest exclusion fences, invasive species database, and methods for implementing early detection of alien species.
Details of the research projects can be viewed online at the DLNR website at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/chair/meetings/submittals/20060113 Select Division of Forestry and Wildlife, page 12.
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