U.S. Division of Commerce Invests $600,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Assist Outside Recreation in Hawaii

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The US Department of Commerce is investing $600,000 in America’s Rescue Plan funds to support outdoor recreation in Hawaii

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

This project will facilitate the retention of additional interpreting staff for outdoor recreation sites of particular significance to Native Hawaiian history and heritage, enhance the visitor experience and support the growth of the state’s tourism industry. The project will receive US$180,000 in government funding.

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

“Outdoor recreation areas are precious places that are used by residents and visitors alike in every community in our state. We appreciate EDA’s continued partnership and support to ensure these government resources are properly maintained for everyone to enjoy. This grant enables the Department of Forestry and Wildlife of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources to continue its Trail Steward program in Pololu on the island of Hawaii to expand this effort as we malama kuʻu home – take care of our beloved home. This cash injection will have a positive impact on Hawaii’s natural resources by creating mindful visitation among those who come to responsibly enjoy the beauty of our islands,” said Gov. David Y. Ige.

“Today’s announcement will help preserve the history and culture of Hawaii’s Native Americans 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 gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Native Hawaiian history and culture while helping to strengthen our state’s tourism industry. As we continue to recover from COVID-19, I will continue to work to secure federal funding to support our communities and economies.”

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

About the US Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the country’s regions for growth and success in the global economy. EDA, an agency within the US Department of Commerce, invests in communities and supports regional collaborations to create jobs for US workers, foster American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.