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Hawaii to get $128K to protect monk seals, turtles

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:43 a.m. HST, May 15, 2012

Hawaii will get more than $128,000 to help protect and preserve Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka announced Monday the money comes from a grant administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The project will establish the state's first Marine Protected Species program for the long-term conservation and management of monk seal and sea turtles. The project will enhance efforts to reduce and document human disturbance of the animals caused by growing numbers of beachgoers and recreational fishers.

Inouye says the alleged killing of four monk seals during the last six month highlights the needed for intervention and culturally sensitive education and outreach.

Akaka says these marine animals are among Hawaii's most treasured native species

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