HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency for tourism, is seeking to fund community-based projects that respect, enhance and perpetuate Hawaii’s natural environment and areas frequented by residents and visitors.

“At the HTA, we continue to work very closely with the public and private sectors to ensure the sustainability of Hawaii’s natural resources,” said Rex Johnson, president and chief executive officer of HTA. “We have received a lot of positive feedback from residents and visitors following improvements and efforts funded through this important program.”

Beginning August 11, 2008, application packets will be available for download on HTA’s Web site (www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/pdf/RFPS/NatRes09.pdf). Proposals must be received by HTA no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 22, 2008. Proposals will be reviewed and selected under the guidance of HTA’s Natural Resources Advisory Group, which includes representatives from the Hawaii Ecotourism Association, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club–Hawaii, PBR Hawaii, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the State Departments of Land and Natural Resources, and Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

In 2008, 25 projects across the state received funding through HTA’s Natural Resources Program including North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Laniākea Beach Honu Education Project on Oahu, The Hawaii Nature Center’s Healing the Land: Loi Restoration Project on Maui, National Tropical Botanical Garden’s Limahuli & Lāwai Kai Ahupuaa Initiatives on Kauai, and Mālama O Puna’s Waiōpae MLCD Coral Reef Restoration Project on Hawaii Island. For more information on this program, visit HTA’s Web site.