16
Feb
2005

Protect NW Hawaiian Coral Reefs: A Few Days Left to Comment

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) -- home to one of the largest and healthiest coral reef ecosystems, rare sea turtles, seals, sea birds, and other rare sea life -- need your help again. Send a message supporting the strongest possible protections for this culturally important and unique habitat.

Take action or find out more:
//actionnetwork.org/campaign/nwhi5/i5sxe84zj8bewt

Spread the word. Invite friends to take action:
//actionnetwork.org/campaign/nwhi5/forward/i5sxe84zj8bewt

A Few Days Left to Comment! Campaign Expires midnight, April 17,
2005.


** Protect Hawaii's Coral Reefs **

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) -- home to one of the largest and healthiest coral reef ecosystems, rare sea turtles, seals, sea birds, and other rare sea life -- need your help again.

While the public overwhelmingly supports strong protections for the islands, one powerful federally-funded council mandated with protecting them has been found instead misusing public funds to weaken these protections, according to award-winning journalist Paul Koberstein at the Cascadia Times. The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac) has proposed allowing coral harvesting, reef fishing, re-opening crashed lobster fisheries, and expanding bottom fishing in feeding grounds of the highly endangered Hawaiian monk seal, all violations of existing NWHI Reserve protections.

Take Action:
Let Wespac and Department of Commerce officials know that the public supports the strongest possible protections for this culturally important and unique habitat. Urge a full investigation into the use of public funds.


RESPOND VIA THE WEB:
//actionnetwork.org/campaign/nwhi5/i5sxe84zj8bewt

Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Ms. Kitty Simonds, Executive Director, Wespac

----THIS LETTER WILL BE SENT IN YOUR NAME----
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

I support the strongest possible protections for the NWHI Coral
Reef Ecosystem Reserve and proposed sanctuary. I oppose Wespac's
proposals to violate existing protections for the NWHI and to
promote coral harvesting, reef fishing, the re-opening of the
crashed lobster fishery and bottomfishing. These activities are
planned for the feeding grounds of the highly endangered
Hawaiian monk seal and are inconsistent with the goals and
objectives of the proposed NWHI sanctuary, which is mandated to
strengthen protections for the NWHI.

I am also deeply concerned about Wespac's inappropriate use of
tax-payer funds to defy public support for protecting this
public resource, to undermine existing law, misrepresent
scientific information, and make false claims to the public -
all to the detriment of this public trust. I urge the Department
of Commerce and Congress to investigate this use of public funds
and take firm disciplinary measures.

The NWHI are a rich marine ecosystem, serving as a nursery for
fisheries in the main Hawaiian Islands, where thousands fish for
a living. Protecting the NWHI as a public trust is key to
helping local fishers and the $800 million ocean recreation
industry in the main islands.

I support the call of Native Hawaiian elders and scientists who
state that commercial use of the remote and vulnerable islands
is not culturally appropriate, economically or ecologically
sustainable. The plans for the NWHI must be consistent with the
existing law, the NWHI executive order, and goals and objectives
of the proposed sanctuary. Please ensure implementation of
existing protections, including the Coral Reef Ecosystem
Reserve, and guarantee that additional protections for this
region -- mandated under the executive order be put in place,
should a sanctuary be established.

----END OF LETTER TO BE SENT----

Sincerely,

cc:
Mr. William Hogarth
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