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Protecting our precious environment is one of my top priorities. My assignments on the House Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Natural Resources provide me with specific responsibilities and opportunities to combat climate change, safeguard our oceans and public lands and oppose attempts to roll back critical environmental protections.

Climate Change

As Hawai‘i and the rest of our planet confront the reality and impacts of climate change, we must increase our efforts to respond to this global crisis. Greenhouse gas emissions cause some of the most pressing concerns from climate change, all of which can be felt in Hawai‘i. You can watch examples of my statements in both my Committees and the full House on the issue of climate change here
We must pivot our nation to a clean and renewable energy future that will reduce carbon emissions and address global warming. To accelerate our transition to clean energy, I supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is our nation’s largest-ever investment in the fight against climate change. The bill invests billions to set our country on the path to reduce 40% of our emissions by 2030. The IRA also includes $2.6 billion to conserve and restore coastal habitats, support healthy forests and help communities implement climate resilience and adaptation activities. Click here to learn more about the IRA, why I supported it and how it will help our Hawai‘i. 
While we work towards eliminating the human-caused drivers of climate change, we also need to manage the very real effects that we are already facing. To this end, I cosponsored multiple pieces of legislation in the 117th Congress, such as the Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act, which would address the marine environment impacts of climate change and institute a comprehensive federal framework for ocean climate action and conservation.


From warmer temperatures and acidification to nonpoint-source pollution, trash, overfishing and beyond, our oceans are on an unsustainable path and desperately need our help to save them. As a member of the Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, one of my top priorities is securing the long-term health of our oceans. I’ve worked with several of my colleagues to advance legislation to modernize our laws that govern coral, fisheries conservation and the deep ocean. 

The Restoring Resilient Reefs Act, which I was an original cosponsor of and the President signed into law in December 2022, reauthorized our national Coral Reef Conservation Program and provides additional funding to states and territories for coral reef conservation purposes. I encourage you to watch my remarks at the U.S. Coral Reef Taskforce about our country’s efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems. You can view those remarks here.
The Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, which I authored with House Natural Resources Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman, would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs all of our nation’s fisheries. The legislation makes much needed updates to the law to ensure we deal with climate change and shifting stocks, modernize fisheries data systems, support fishing communities, encourage cooperation between industry and managers and increase accountability in fisheries management. If you would like to learn more about our legislation which we hope to reintroduce this Congress, I encourage you to read Chairman Huffman’s press release here.

I have also introduced legislation to ban mining on our deep seabed, a potentially catastrophic practice which could irreversibly damage our ocean ecosystems and the communities that rely on them. The American Seabed Protection Act and International Seabed Protection Act will protect our fragile oceans from the severe risks of seabed mining by imposing moratoria on mining unless and until its consequences are understood and an appropriate protective regulatory regime is established. Paired together, the bills establish the United States as an international leader in protecting our precious oceans through a responsible process to address the potentially devastating effects of widespread, unregulated deep seabed mining. You can read more about my introduction of this legislation here.

I also strongly support President Biden’s initiative to commit the United States to the 30x30 initiative, which is a global effort to protect 30 percent of all lands and waters by 2030. To this end, I’ve advocated for the designation of a National Marine Sanctuary  in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine. This proposed designation would not only protect the marine environment from commercial exploitation but also be a meaningful step towards climate resilience and help preserve one of the last wild and healthy marine ecosystems in the world. You can read my letter to the President in support of the monument’s expansion here and the President’s announcement of the sanctuary’s designation process here.

Protecting Our Natural Resources

I have prioritized land conservation throughout my time in Congress. For example, I have introduced and had legislation passed into law to begin the process of creating a National Forest and a National Heritage Area in our Hawai‘i. These bills would unlock federal resources currently unavailable to our state. I’ve also worked through my assignment on the House Appropriations Committee to direct millions of dollars in federal funding towards projects in Hawai‘i to save our critically endangered native birds, expand our national parks and ensure increased public access to the outdoors.

Finally, in the 118th Congress (2023-2025), I am working to oppose harmful measures proposed in the Natural Resources Committee that would favor exploitation of our natural world for short-sighted benefits and erode our land-mark environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act.