(BIVN) – Federal earmarks are back after a decade-long ban, and millions in new funding is headed towards Hawaiʻi island.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced on Wednesday that he has secured more than $240 million in earmarks this year for non-profit organizations and state and county agencies across Hawai‘i.
“Earmarks are back and that means more federal money for agencies and worthy nonprofits that serve local communities,” said Senator Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We did very well this year and are bringing home millions in new federal funding – and all of that that will go directly into our communities.”
According to a Schatz news release, some of the earmarks that will be of direct benefit to Hawaiʻi island include:
University of Hawai‘i – $1,000,000
Funding will be used to develop exhibition and planetarium productions to diversify and expand the Imiloa Astronomy Center’s education services to Hale Pohaku on the slopes of Maunakea, and to advance awareness of the connection between science, indigenous culture, and community. (Schatz and Hirono joint request)
Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources – $2,100,000
Funding will help advance coastal stewardship of fisheries and coral reefs at sites on Hawai‘i Island through the integrated efforts of community, state, federal, and non-governmental organizational partners.
The Nature Conservancy (Hawai‘i Island) – $924,000
Funding will support conservation of the Kona Hema Preserve on Hawai‘i Island to protect threatened and endangered species. (Schatz and Hirono joint request)
YWCA of Hawai‘i Island – $100,000
Money will support its East Hawai‘i Island Developmental Preschool Program and help fund technology upgrades, supplies, teacher training, curricula, and accreditation support.
County of Hawai‘i – $10,000,000
Funding will support the construction of a 16-unit emergency shelter, 48 units of permanent housing, community showers, community kitchens and other social services infrastructure for people experiencing homelessness. (Schatz and Hirono joint request)
Some of the largest sums are going towards military projects on other islands, such as the $55.5 million for the U.S. Army Pacific’s new mission command facility at Fort Shafter, $64.5 million to modernize the electrical distribution system at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe, and $19 million for the planning and design of the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawai‘i.