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Environmental Protection


Silversword fern Hawaii
Silversword fern Hawaii

The principal conservation activities in Hawaii include the prevention of soil erosion, the maintenance of an ample water supply, and the preservation of Hawaii’s unique plant and animal resources and its magnificent scenery. The principal state groups active in conservation are the Conservation Council for Hawaii, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Moanalua Gardens Foundation, The Nature Center, and the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Federal agencies include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. Soil erosion has been a serious problem in Hawaii, especially on the steep hillsides and mountain slopes that have been stripped of their protective cover of vegetation by overgrazing and the excessive cutting of timber. The removal of this cover has also resulted in an increase in runoff, which has been a threat to the state’s groundwater supplies.

On Oahu some denuded slopes have been reforested with species of commercially valueless softwoods in order to reduce both erosion and runoff. Throughout the islands many watersheds have been designated as forest preserves, which include both public and private lands.

The development of commercial agriculture and the spread of urbanization have also resulted in extensive changes in the patterns of land use. However, along with numerous conservation measures, Hawaii has adopted a statewide zoning system to provide for planned economic and urban growth without the misuse of the state’s valuable but limited natural resources. In 2008 the state had 3 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list for cleanup due to their severity or proximity to people. Progress was being made in efforts to reduce pollution; in the period 1995–2000 the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment was reduced by 18 percent. "Hawaii" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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