WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech is traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii this week to attend and participate in the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) 2020 Conference hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Director James Reilly are also traveling from Washington, D.C. for the event where they will meet with the community, government, business, academic, charitable and other organization leaders from the Pacific region to discuss ways to build resiliency in the Pacific Islands.
“Under President Trump’s Indo-Pacific strategy and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s leadership, Interior has worked hard to support freedom, prosperity, and resiliency in the U.S. Pacific insular areas. This year we have already announced leadership development training for mid-level public officials, provided expertise to evaluate freshwater quality and distribution, met our commitments to retired elders, and provided funding support to healthcare clinics,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “The United States has long been and continues to be a partner and part of the Pacific ‘ohana and I look forward to the opportunity to share and to learn at the PRiMO 2020 conference.”
“NOAA’s support to the Pacific Region goes from the seafloor to space, involving ocean mapping, countering illegal fishing, coastal management, tsunami and severe weather warning, and satellite remote sensing,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator. “Our commitment to PRiMO and strengthening relations with our Pacific Island partners underscores NOAA’s ongoing contributions to the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.”
“USGS science is critical to the major issues that the Pacific Islands face, whether they be brown tree snakes, erupting volcanoes, coastal flooding, or coral reef and wildlife diseases or healthy ecosystems,” said USGS Director James Reilly. “Land and water managers and policymakers rely on USGS science to make sound decisions to increase resiliency for the islands and their people now and in the future.”
Dr. Reilly will discuss the science conducted by the USGS’s six centers in the Pacific Islands, focusing on natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, coastal flooding, sea-level rise and landslides, as well as the science on ecosystem health, invasive species and coral reefs.
Domenech will discuss his role at the Department of the Interior as Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the assistance and support provided through his office to American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific, as well as to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Assistant Secretary Domenech also heads the Secretary’s Office of International Affairs and the Oceans, Great Lakes, and Coastal Program at Interior.
Domenech will also have the honor of introducing David Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia who will be keynoting at the event.
The PRiMObegan in 2003 as an effort to explore opportunities to enhance communication and collaboration among the ‘ohana, or family, of local, national, and regional organizations involved in risk management. For more on PRiMO and the upcoming conference, visit: https://coast.noaa.gov/primo/.
For more information on the Office of Insular Affairs, visit www.doi.gov/oia or follow Assistant Secretary Domenech on Twitter at: @ASIIADomenech.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees Federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.