Hawaii is set to receive more than $10.7 million in federal funding to support sustainable fishing and hunting and wildlife conservation in the isles, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
The funding is from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program that received a record $1.5 billion this year, according to a news release from the U.S. Interior Department.
The USFWS Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program will support scientific research, educational programs, and habitat restoration and protection, among other initiatives. It was reauthorized under the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress and signed into law last November.
“Fishing, hunting, and enjoying the outdoors are part of Hawaii’s history and our way of life,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a news release. “This new investment will help us make sure that residents and visitors alike can continue these traditions in a sustainable way for future generations.”
In Hawaii, the funds will go to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, which uses it to support staff and longstanding native species and hunting and fishing programs, according to spokesman Dan Dennison.
Last year, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, for example received a little more than $3 million, and will receive a little more than $4 million this year. This increase in funding is great to see, said Dennison, and will be well used to meet critical needs.
The program – also known as the Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux — apportions excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment, and boat fuel to all 50 states and U.S. territories.
“We are pleased to see an increase in funding to Hawaii through the strong sales of hunting and fishing equipment which fund the Pittman-Robertson Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux programs. These annually apportioned federal funds support important hunting and fishing programs within the Department as well as critical native wildlife conservation actions. The additional funds will protect and improve access to areas for hunting and fishing and support actions to prevent the extinction of Hawaiian plants and animals.”