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HWF in the News

> May 29, 2015 - 2015 sea turtle nesting season begins
> April 24, 2015 - Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
> April 21, 2015 - Hawaiian Humpbacks proposed for delisting
> Mar 22, 2015 - Good news for green sea turtles
> Jan 26, 2015 - Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
> Jan 26, 2015 - HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee


2015 sea turtle nesting season begins
May 29, 2015 (By Maui Now staff) - Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2015 nesting season along Maui beaches this month.
   The public is advised to stay at least 30 feet away from nesting turtles and watch quietly, as they are easily disturbed.
   The public can also help by keeping their dogs on a leash when walking on Maui beaches, and staying at least 15 feet away from basking (resting, not nesting) green turtles according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
   Agency officials say, "the success of their nests is crucial for the survival of these threatened and endangered species."
   In a department press release, authorities said turtle hatchlings should not be picked up and placed in the ocean, as "they need to crawl on their own to set their navigational compass and increase their chance of survival."
   In addition to keeping a safe distance, wildlife officials ask the public to immediately report sightings of nesting activity, fresh turtle tracks, nest hatchlings, or turtles in trouble by contacting one of the following individuals:

   "Dawn Patrol" volunteers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service will be walking 'key' beaches each morning from June 1 to Sept. 30 to search for tracks left in the sand by nesting turtles.
   The agency, in coordination with the state Aquatics Resources Division and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, work collectively and alongside volunteers to identify, mark, monitor and protect sea turtle nests.
> Read entire article at MauiNow.com

Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
(Big Island Now) HAWAII - April 24, 2015 - More suspected Japan tsunami marine debris has washed onto and near Hawai'i shores.
   According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, two large plastic bins were reported this week. Overturned skiff reported Feb. 22 at a beach near Kahuku Golf Course. Photo courtesy Lance Redding.One of the bins was located at Kamilo Beach in Ka'u. Volunteers with Hawaii Wildlife Fund removed the bin. Another bin was found on Larsen’s Beach on Kauai.
   On Thursday, DLNR crews retrieved a 20-foot skiff in the Sandy Beach area of Oahu. The boat had Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers. This was the seventh boat since February to approach Hawaii that is suspected to be from Japan.
> Read entire article at BigIslandNow.com

Hawaiian Humpbacks proposed for delisting
HWF President offers comments, concerns
April 21, 2015 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund President Hannah Bernard was quoted in an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser called "Humpbacks no longer in danger, NOAA says," about NOAA's proposal to remove Hawaiian humpback whales from the endangered species list. Bernard said the recovery of the humpback is "…a success story" ... but expressed concern that getting off the endangered list will create complacency and lead to humpback problems later.
> Read article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser

Good news for green sea turtles
U.S. agency: Keep threatened status for turtles
MAUI, HAWAII - March 22, 2015 - Federal wildlife officials propose keeping Hawaii's green sea turtles' threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it would continue to be illegal to kill or hunt them.
   Hawaii has a population of fewer than 4,000 nesting sea turtles, nearly all of which nest on a low-lying island in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, officials said.
   A green sea turtle is shown on Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. AP file photoFriday's announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes approximately three years after the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs petitioned the government to study whether Hawaii's green sea turtles might have recovered to the point where they no longer need federal protection.
   But Hawaii's turtles are vulnerable to disease, rising sea levels and other threats, said Patrick Opay, the endangered species branch chief of NOAA's Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office.
   [Part of article removed here for brevity]
   Hannah Bernard, president and co-founder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said federal officials propose reclassifying sea turtles into 11 distinct population segments, since turtles in the same patch of ocean - the Hawaiian archipelago, for instance, share a genetic heritage and are isolated from other groups by vast expanses of ocean.
   In Hawaii, sea turtles forage among the main islands, but nest in the northwestern islands, she said.
   "They're true kamaaina. They're keiki o ka aina," Bernard said. The turtles remain in their region and don't migrate long distances, she said.
   The turtles' designation as a distinct population, with the help of DNA testing, allows for special wildlife management, she said. For example, knowing the particulars about a specific population area helps wildlife officials better manage and protect the species. "We're more focused on our specific populations," she said.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com

Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
New ruling opens Maui County up to civil penalties
MAUI, HAWAII - Jan 26, 2015 - A federal judge effectively ruled Friday that all four injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater facility are "illegal" and in violation of the Clean Water Act, leaving the county open to tens of thousands of dollars a day in civil Maui Countypenalties, a lawyer for a group suing the county over the wells said.
   "Any use of the Lahaina facility is illegal" until the county obtains a Clean Water Act permit, said David Henkin of Earthjustice, who represents a coalition of groups in court, on Monday.
   The lawsuit, filed in April 2012, contends that wastewater from the injection wells is making its way to the ocean, endangering the public, contributing to algal growth and harming coral reefs.
   Four Maui community groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association and Sierra Club Maui Group - filed the lawsuit to force the county to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, part of the Clean Water Act, which would set limits on the pollutants that can be discharged from the wells.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com
> Video: Hannah Bernard speaks out on court case

HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee
Jan 26, 2015 - When Governor David Ige nominated real estate developer Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources on January 23, Hawaii Wildlife Fund joined a broad coalition of groups that opposed the nomination. An anti-Ching online petition has garneredCarleton Ching more than 5,000 signatures.
> Sign the petition
   Gov. Ige justified his selection of Ching, saying, "Stewardship of Hawaii's unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources."
   However, Ching's account on LinkedIn lists his development skills as "Marketing, real estate, first time home buyers, investment properties, residential homes, public relations and budgets." It makes no mention of any skills related to public service, land management or conservation practices — an omission that more than 18 organizations latched onto in the joint statement they released this week, blasting the nomination stating that Ching "has no demonstrated expertise in managing the cultural and natural resources that fall under the department's purview."
   The statement was endorsed by Sierra Club, The Outdoor Circle, Conservation Council for Hawaii, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Friends of Lana'i, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Earthjustice, Defend O'ahu Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hui Ho'omalu I Ka 'Aina, Kupa'a No Lani, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka 'Aina), Maui Tomorrow, Puna Pono Alliance, Wailua-Kapa'a Neighborhood Association, West Maui Preservation Association, and 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition.
> Big Island Chronicle: KaChing!
> The Garden Island: Kauai groups oppose DLNR nominee
> West Hawaii Today: Groups oppose Ige’s nominee


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