Ryan Finnerty

Ryan Finnerty is producer on Hawaii Public Radio's local public affairs talk show The Conversation where he reports on local and state politics, business, economics, science, and the environment. Before coming to Hawaii Public Radio, Ryan was an officer in the U.S. Army stationed at Schofield Barraks on Oahu. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in economics.   

The whine of chainsaws and rumble of wood chippers are echoing around the shores of Pearl Harbor.

Work crews are clearing an invasive species of mangrove from the shoreline and coastal streams that empty into Hawaii's most famous body of water.

"Pearl Harbor is being choked out by red mangrove," says Amanda Millin, a field crew manager overseeing a team of five.

Millin notes that in most tropical ecosystems, mangroves provide a variety of environmental benefits, including sequestering carbon, controlling erosion control and fostering biodiversity.

Hawaii has some the highest levels of unemployment in the country. Joblessness rose to Great Depression-levels in the spring following shutdown orders that local authorities issued in March.

In addition to the business closures and restrictions on large gatherings common across the country, Hawaii was also the first state to require out-of-state travelers to quarantine upon arrival.