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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $600,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Outdoor Recreation in Hawaii

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $600,000 grant to the state of Hawaii to support the recovery of the local tourism and outdoor recreation sector through the development of new visitor amenities and attractions. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will facilitate the retention of additional interpretive staff for outdoor recreational sites of special significance to Native Hawaiian history and heritage, improving the visitor experience and supporting growth in the state’s tourism industry. The project will be matched with $180,000 in state funds.

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will help Hawaii’s critical tourism and outdoor recreation sector recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and build back stronger.”

“Outdoor recreation areas are precious spaces enjoyed in every community across our state by residents and visitors alike. We appreciate the EDA’s continued partnership and support to ensure these State resources are adequately maintained for everyone to enjoy. This grant allows the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife to maintain its trail steward program at Pololu on Hawai‘i Island with an eye toward expanding this effort, as we mālama kuʻu home – care for our beloved home. This infusion of funds will have a positive impact on Hawai‘i’s natural resources by creating mindful visitation among those who come to responsibly enjoy our islands’ beauty,” said Governor David Y. Ige.

“Today’s announcement will help preserve Native Hawaiian history and culture, while protecting our natural resources and trails from increasingly frequent use by visitors,” said Senator Brian Schatz.

“Native Hawaiian stories and traditions are an integral part of Hawaii’s past, present, and future,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “This funding will help people living in and visiting Hawaii to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for Native Hawaiian history and culture, while also helping to strengthen our state’s tourism industry. As we continue to recover from COVID-19, I’ll keep working to secure federal funding to support our communities and economy.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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