Hawaii to Receive $168,560 for Fish Habitat Conservation Projects

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners to Provide $12 Million to Undertake Fish Habitat Conservation Projects in 27 States

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are providing $12 million during the next three years to support 75 fish habitat conservation projects in 27 states, ranging from restoring submerged aquatic vegetation and oyster beds in Florida and New York to restoring degraded stream and estuary habitat for native fish in Hawaii.

Click to view entire list

Click to view entire list

“Together with our partners, we identified the 75 projects through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, a diverse coalition of public and private organizations that works to reverse declines in fish habitat through voluntary, non-regulatory actions,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The projects will benefit aquatic species by protecting, restoring and enhancing stream, lake and coastal habitat as well as anglers by improving recreational fisheries. In doing so, they will also give a boost to local communities that benefit from the outdoor recreation economy.”

The National Fish Habitat Partnership helps Service biologists prioritize conservation work to get the greatest benefit for fish and other aquatic resources and ultimately for the American people. The partnership recently completed the first nationwide scientific assessment of the status of fish habitats and identified conservation priorities across the country.

To fund the projects, the Service is providing $3.17 million this year, with nongovernmental organizations, state resource agencies and other partners contributing an additional $9.45 million during the next three years.

Through the funded projects, partners will work in priority areas to restore stream banks, remove man-made barriers to fish passage, reduce erosion from farm and ranchlands, and conduct studies to identify conservation needs for fish and their habitats.  Expected results of the projects include more robust fish populations, better fishing and healthier waterways.  Many of the projects also are designed to help fish populations adapt to the effects of climate change and other environmental disruptions.

“Better fishing is a big benefit of these projects,” said Kelly Hepler, Assistant Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board.  “With better fishing come more tourism, tackle sales and other economic activity, as well as a better quality of life in local communities.”

Projects sponsored by the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership will restore submerged aquatic vegetation and oyster beds in Florida and New York.  The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture will remove barriers in Maine and Pennsylvania and remediate acid mine drainage in Virginia.  The Western Native Trout Initiative will restore habitat that is crucial to cutthroat trout, Gila trout and bull trout, all of which are imperiled.  Projects sponsored by the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership will restore degraded stream and estuary habitat for native fish.

The list of projects can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/whatwedo/NFHAP/documents/2013_FWS_funded_NFHP_projects_listed_by_State.pdf

Kona Crime Prevention Committee Recognizes Officer Justin Gaspar as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Justin Gaspar as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (June 3) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona. Gaspar was honored for a traffic stop that led to arrests for multiple felony offenses.

Officer Justin Gaspar

Officer Justin Gaspar

On May 4, Gaspar was assisting another officer with a traffic stop near Honokōhau Road when he observed drug paraphernalia associated with crystal methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

After the two women occupants were arrested, a man in another car approached the scene and stopped. Officer Gaspar recognized him as someone with three outstanding bench warrants for his arrest and ordered him to stop and get out of the vehicle. The man reversed the car and sped away and then placed the car into drive and began speeding toward the officers, causing them to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. Other officers then stopped the car and arrested the driver.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the man’s car and found a glass smoking pipe and plastic packets containing crystal methamphetamine, along with a pair of brass knuckles. The man was arrested on the bench warrants as well as for two counts of reckless endangering, two counts of terroristic threatening, resisting an order to stop, driving with an expired drivers license, promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and possessing a prohibited deadly weapon.

In addition to this incident, Officer Gaspar investigated 32 incidents, one traffic accident and 29 miscellaneous public complaints during May. During the same time, he made 19 adult arrests and issued 33 traffic citations.

As “Officer of the Month,” Gaspar is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”