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March 1971

First Call to Convention
Help Wanted
ABC Election Night Special (Beverly Carter)
Ethics Legislation
School Study
Consensus - School Study
School Study: Where Do We Go From Here?
State Board
Preserving the Ecology of the Islands (Gretel McLane)
Attention Honolulu County League Members

Preserving the Ecology of the Islands

"PRESERVING THE ECOLOGY OF THE ISLANDS -- SUBSTANTIVE RULES AND PROCEDURAL REMEDIES" - Dr. Harrop Freeman

Report from Gretel: Most of the rules and all of the procedural remedies were for lawyers only, but there were many points of interest to Leaguers in general and to the Environment Committee in particular. Dr. Freeman's main concern was water pollution, generally agreed to be a much more severe problem than air pollution in the islands. As special problems he foresees for the Islands, he listed:

  • Decimating the fish population through unregulated fishing

  • Oil on the beaches through ships' dumping of sludge. (Nations still believe dumping at sea is not a violation of anyone's rights.)

  • Use of the continental shelf for missile sites,

  • Water pollution from sewage and increasingly from run-off as we uncover the hills

  • Industrial plants which dump wastes into creeks and canals

  • The vast amount of military land and the nerve gas on Johnson Island.

Hawaii's most basic problem is saving the ocean, since we have no green belt around our metropolitan areas, and a change in temperature could be drastic. Dr. Freeman's proposal is that the 12-mile limit claimed by most countries as their national boundary be abandoned in favor of jurisdiction over the sea by an international body,

Dr. Freeman also pointed out that the first water pollution law was enacted in 1878, and he said "laws only have force and effect when lawyers force laws to be obeyed."

Another interesting fact was that courts are increasingly viewing "life in a friendly environment" as a basic human right and even as a constitutional right. Also the trend is to allow almost anyone who is affected (newspapers, community groups, etc) to go to court.

Our seventh member of the board at the present time is Ruth Balsley. She is carrying the portfolio of Foreign Policy, Trade & Aid and UN - all National items.

State Direction for the National Item "Development of Human Resources" was not undertaken as a chairman could not be found. Thus it has been left to the local Leagues to look at the item only under the guidelines from National. Members might want to consider adopting a study at the state level of the Department of Social Services.

Gretel McLane

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