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Group wants to build $3 million center to help Hawaiian monk seals

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:43 a.m. HST, Aug 11, 2011

KAILUA-KONA >> A California center is planning to build a $3 million rehabilitation center to treat endangered Hawaiian monk seals on the Big Island.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based Marine Mammal Center has raised $700,000 toward building the facility, but needs $300,000 more before it can break ground on the project, West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday.

There are only 1,200 Hawaiian monk seals remaining in the wild.

The Marine Mammal Center has conducted an environmental review that says no adverse impacts are expected from the monk seal facility.

The center would treat the critically endangered seals at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. Plans include building tanks for raising newborn pups and construction of a visitor's center.

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