NOAA 2002-034
Contact: Stephanie Balian, Delores Clark
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will hold nine public meetings to discuss the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem becoming a national marine sanctuary in order to further protect the unique and pristine marine environment of the area.

The scoping meetings slated for the second and third week of April in Hawai‘i and Washington, D.C., (schedule attached) are part of the procedures established by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. The roundtable format of the meetings is designed to gather comprehensive comments through small group facilitators and note takers. Comments will be posted on NOAA's website ( within 48 hours so that participants may be assured that their input is accurately reflected.

"Public input matters a great deal and is the key to determining what a national marine sanctuary will represent in this special Hawaiian ecosystem," said Robert Smith, NOAA's Reserve Coordinator for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Reserve.

Those unable to attend may submit written comments via the website, or mail them directly to the address listed in this release.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is a chain of smaller islands, atolls, submerged banks and reefs located approximately 100 nautical miles west of the main Hawaiian Islands. This is the largest geographic area ever designated for conservation purposes in the United States and contains 2.7 million acres of coral reef, 14 million nesting seabirds, and 250 fish species; many of which are only found in Hawaiian waters.

NOAA's Ocean Service (NOS) manages the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Reserve. NOAA's Ocean Service (NOS) is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. NOS balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards. For more information about NOAA's National Ocean Service, please visit:

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Sanctuary Roundtable Meetings

April 9
6 p.m. Wai‘anae, O‘aha
Wai‘anae District Park - Multipurpose Building
85-601 Farrington Hwy.

April 10
6 p.m. Käne‘ohe, O‘ahu
He‘eia Kea State Park - Visitors Center Hall
46-465 Kamehameha Hwy.

April 11
6 p.m. Kahului, Maui
Maui Arts & Cultural Center - McCoy Studio Theatre
One Cameron Way

April 11
1 p.m. Washington, D.C.
Department of Commerce Building - Rm. 1414
14th & Constitution Ave. NW

April 12
5:30 p.m. Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i
Kulana ‘Öiwi Halau
Lot 24, Maunaloa Hwy.

April 15
6 p.m. Honolulu, O‘ahu
Japanese Cultural Center - Mänoa Room
2454 S. Beretania St.

April 16
6 p.m. LÏhu‘e, Kaua‘i
Radisson Kaua‘i Beach Resort - Jasmine Ballroom
4331 Kaua‘i Beach Drive

April 17
6 p.m. Hilo, Hawai‘i
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo - Marine Science Building
200 West Kawili St.

April 18
6 p.m. Kona, Hawai‘i
King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel – Kamakahonu Ballroom
75-5660 Palani Rd.

April 19
6 p.m. Läna‘i City, Hawai‘i
Läna‘i Public Library
Frazier Ave.

Comments can be sent to:
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosysem Reserve
Proposed NWHI National Marine Sanctuary
6700 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, Suite 215
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
(808) 397-2668