Monday, August 03, 2009

Hawaii: Wrecking Coral will Cost You

And why wouldn't it? As the article mentions, it's Hawaii's environment that draws such massive tourism.

A Maui tour company is paying the state nearly $400,000 for damaging more than 1,200 coral colonies when one of its boats sank at Molokini, a pristine reef and popular diving spot. Another tour operator faces penalties for wrecking coral when it illegally dropped an anchor on a Maui reef.

The state plans to sue the U.S. Navy to seek compensation for coral ruined when a guided missile cruiser the length of two football fields ran aground near Pearl Harbor in February.

The fines began issuing fines two years ago as part of its efforts to punish those who damage a resource critical to Hawaii's fragile environment and tourism, the state's No. 1 industry.

"People are going to have to be more careful out here, because it if keeps getting damaged, we're going to lose it," said Laura Thielen, chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which decides how much to fine. "We have to take some very strong action or else it's going to be too late."

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1 comment:

KB said...

So why do people always think it is someone else's job to protect the reef? I think fining is a great way to keep conservation efforts afloat by hitting violating companies where they will feel it most - in the wallet. Go Hawaii!