Teya Penniman, who leads the Maui Invasive Species Committee, told lawmakers pests will only get worse if efforts to fight pests aren't adequately funded.
The pointed to the example of the coqui frog — an amphibian native to Puerto Rico that has colonized large parts of the Big Island and is also found in parts of Maui. She also brought up miconia, a weedy tree from South and Central American that is overrunning Oahu forests, making it harder for the land to absorb moisture and replenish aquifers.
"If we don't put adequate resources in invasive species now ... who's going to pay the consequences? It's going to be our children, our grandchildren," she said.