Life in Hawaiʻi has always been inextricably linked with the ocean, which is central to our livelihoods, culture, health, and island lifestyle. But our marine environment is under pressure from a growing population, habitat destruction, unsustainable harvest, the loss of traditional practices, and warming and rising seas. Sadly, a recent scientific analysis revealed declines of up to 75% in populations of some of our favorite reef fish. And the state’s first mass bleaching event in 2015 resulted in up to 90% coral mortality on some reefs. Fortunately, our marine environment is resilient, and can recover if given the opportunity.
Charting a New Course
In 2016, the State launched the Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative, a multi-pronged effort to ensure a healthy environment and economy for Hawaiʻi’s people. As part of this effort, the Department of Land and Natural Resources committed to effectively manage Hawaiʻi’s nearshore waters with 30% established as marine management areas by 2030.
Hawaiʻi’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is leading the Marine 30×30 Initiative, which focuses on developing and strengthening the essential components of effective management, including development of: a resilient marine managed area network; statewide fisheries rules; outreach and enforcement strategies; monitoring; and restoration.
Collective Vision, Collective Undertaking
DAR has named the Initiative “Holomua: Marine 30×30.” Holomua means to go forward, as DAR’s intention is to work with communities in a forward–looking way to improve management of our nearshore waters to provide marine resources for present and future generations. Driven by community input on management priorities, DAR will incorporate the best readily available science and cultural advice to achieve the Initiative’s goals. The aim is to improve marine management practices across the state to ensure healthy ecosystems and abundant resources that allow the people of Hawai‘i to enjoy coastal waters, support local livelihoods, and feed our families. Recognizing that the initiative’s success depends on significant involvement of stakeholders, DAR will work with communities across the state in a stepwise process.
Send an email to the Marine 30×30 email address.
Download the DAR 30×30 2-pager (pdf, 1.8 MB).
Download the Memorandum of Understanding for implementation (pdf)
See also the governor’s Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiative web page.