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Cruise Industry Drops Plans To Visit Moloka`i

As a result of Earthjustice's litigation on behalf of community group Hui Ho`opakele `Aina (Rescue the Land) seeking to compel preparation of an environmental review, attendant publicity, and community action, on September 25, 2003, representatives of the cruise industry met with the community on the rural, predominantly Native Hawaiian island of Moloka`i, and announced that "cruise ships are not coming to Moloka`i, period." The representatives cited the "conflict" generated by their plans to visit the island as among the reasons for the decision. Our clients will continue to advocate for larger issues such as state-wide pollution controls. The media cited the case as evidence of the need for wider public discussion regarding cruise ship impacts and criticized the lack of such public input and accountability in the existing voluntary memorandum of understanding between the state and cruise lines regarding pollution. After meeting with representatives of environmental groups, including ours, a leading state legislator publicly denounced the memorandum as "almost worthless" and expressed his intent aggressively to push legislation this coming session.