Achieving the objectives for using the Incompatible Insect Technique and releasing Wolbachia-incompatible male mosquitoes in high-elevation forests across Hawaiʻi requires following appropriate regulatory pathways.
Throughout Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian honeycreepers live on land managed by state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private landowners. Because of this, BNM partners follow the regulatory requirements set by state and federal laws, agencies, and landowners. Every aspect of this project will comply with all federal and state regulations before action is taken. Public input is an important part of this multi-step regulatory process.
The required permits and authorizations needed to import and release mosquitoes in Hawaiʻi have been obtained.
To comply with regulatory requirements and assess the potential environmental effects of this project, partners are conducting three Environmental Assessments in the State of Hawaiʻi. The East Maui Environmental Assessment has been approved. Partners are working to prepare the Environmental Assessments for Kauaʻi and statewide.
See the sections below for up-to-date project information and upcoming opportunities to participate in public comment periods.
The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the East Maui portion of this project.
In April 2023, government agencies issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for both the federal and state environmental assessments. This allows the project to move forward on East Maui, beginning with small-scale pilot releases of incompatible male mosquitoes.
For the Kauaʻi portion of this project, the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are working toward the summer 2023 release of a joint Draft Environmental Assessment. There will be an opportunity for everyone to share their manaʻo on the Draft EA.
On June 23, 2023, our partners published the draft EA and anticipated finding of no significant impact “for use of the Wolbachia-based Incompatible Insect Technique for the suppression of nonnative southern house mosquito populations on Kauaʻi.” This EA provides background information concerning IIT and outlines the proposed action, potential impacts, and strategies to avoid and minimize potential negative effects of the proposed release of incompatible male mosquitoes within the project area on Kauaʻi.
Raise your Leo - How to Submit your Manaʻo
To be considered, comments must be received on or before July 24, 2023. All comments and materials received will become part of the public record associated with this action. Comments can be submitted in multiple ways:
Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Via mail, postmarked by July 24, 2023, to: Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Attn: Mosquito Control Project, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813
In writing at a public meeting on July 11, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center, 4475f Nuhou St, Lihue, HI 96766
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health, in cooperation with the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, are in the planning phase of preparing the statewide Environmental Assessment.
Community engagement and input help inform our project. If you are interested in learning more and being notified about opportunities to share your manaʻo during public comment periods, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list.
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