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After Delivering Millions In Federal Funding, Schatz Visits Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park On Hawai‘i Island To Hear About Critical Preservation Work

Millions In Schatz-Secured Federal Funding Used To Protect Native Birds, Help Rebuild Park Infrastructure; Schatz Also Met With Mayor Mitch Roth, Discussed Working Together To Deliver More Federal Funding To Hawai‘i County

HILO – After securing millions in federal funding in recent years, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, yesterday visited Keauhou Bird Conservation Center and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai‘i Island. Schatz toured both sites and saw firsthand how the federal dollars were being utilized.

“Due to shrinking habitats, disease-carrying mosquitoes, and expanding predator populations, Hawai‘i’s native birds have been at risk of extinction for decades. But because of the incredible work of conservationists across the state and particularly those at Keauhou Bird Conservation Center in Hilo, we have seen our native bird populations begin to rebound,” said Senator Schatz. “I was eager to hear about the great work the Center is doing and discuss how we can continue to deliver federal support.”

At Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, Schatz met with staff and received a briefing on the critical work being done to care for and protect numerous critically endangered Hawaiian forest birds including the ?Alala, Palila, ?Akikiki, ?Akeke?e, and Kiwikiu. Since 2021, Schatz helped secure more than $5 million for the Center.

The Keauhou Bird Conservation Center is one of two centers operated through a partnership between San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

“Volcanoes National Park is a special place that everyone should have access to, but six years after the 2018 eruption, the work to repair the damage to key roads and buildings continues. I was grateful to the staff for updating me on the progress being made at Volcanoes and hear about the improvements to the visitor center that will make a safer and better park experience for everyone. I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver more federal resources to Hawai‘i’s national parks,” said Senator Schatz.

At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Schatz toured the damage to roads and buildings following the 2018 Kilauea eruption and was briefed by Park staff on the repairs being made from federal funding Schatz helped deliver. Schatz secured nearly $45 million in federal funding for native plant restoration, perimeter fencing, land conservation efforts, and repairs and improvements to roads and buildings – including the visitor center.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is the most visited National Park in the islands with 1.6 million visitors annually, and has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Schatz meeting with staff, discussing the critical work being done at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center

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?Alala, a critically endangered native crow and the largest surviving endemic Hawaiian forest bird, seen here under the care of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center

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Schatz tours damaged Crater Rim Road at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

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Schatz views Kilauea Crater and discusses damage from 2018 eruption with NPS and USGS staff