- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Three areas on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island will get help from federal agencies to try to tackle some of the effects of climate change.

The White House announced Tuesday that the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will team up to boost community efforts in West Maui, West Hawaii island and the He’eia Watershed on Oahu, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1bj7GHq ).

The agencies have no additional money for the effort, so they will work with nonprofit and community groups on research and climate-change models.

In Hawaii, the Pacific Climate Change Cooperative will lead the effort by working with state officials, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, landowners, community groups and individuals on a variety of projects.

“We’re not going to be starting a huge number of new things,” said Jeff Burgett, science coordinator for the Cooperative. “We’re helping to coordinate efforts and infuse them with relevant climate change information.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest singled out He’eia Watershed as an area that faces a broad range of threats from climate change.

Earnest said those include drought, sea level rise, wildfire and invasive species.

“This (partnership) is an example of how the administration can continue to advance what we consider to be and what the world considers to be a top priority, which is dealing with the impacts of climate change in a way that makes communities more resilient in the face of climate change,” he said.

The partnership will also help communities in southwestern Florida, Washington state and the Great Lakes region. Progress reports on all areas are due in October.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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