Executive Order from President Clinton

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at aoml.noaa.gov
Wed Jul 1 07:30:24 EDT 1998




Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release			June 11, 1998



	By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States of America and in furtherance of the
purposes of the Clean Water Act of 1977, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251, et
seq.), Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1451, et seq.),
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801,
et seq.), National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C.
4321, et seq.), National Marine Sanctuaries Act, (16 U.S.C. 1431, et
seq.), National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1, et seq.), National
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee), and other
pertinent statutes, to preserve and protect the biodiversity, health,
heritage, and social and economic value of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and
the marine environment, it is hereby ordered as follows:

	Section 1.  Definitions.  (a) "U.S. coral reef ecosystems" means
those species, habitats, and other natural resources associated with coral
reefs in all maritime areas and zones subject to the jurisdiction or
control of the United States (e.g., Federal, State, territorial, or
commonwealth waters), including reef systems in the south Atlantic,
Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean.  (b) "U.S. Coral Reef
Initiative" is an existing partnership between Federal agencies and State,
territorial, commonwealth, and local governments, nongovernmental
organizations, and commercial interests to design and implement additional
management, education, monitoring, research, and restoration efforts to
conserve coral reef ecosystems for the use and enjoyment of future
generations.  The existing U.S. Islands Coral Reef Initiative strategy
covers approximately 95 percent of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and is a key
element of the overall U.S. Coral Reef Initiative.  (c) "International
Coral Reef Initiative" is an existing partnership, founded by the United
States in 1994, of governments, intergovernmental organizations,
multilateral development banks, nongovernmental organizations, scientists,
and the private sector whose purpose is to mobilize governments and other
interested parties whose coordinated, vigorous, and effective actions are
required to address the threats to the world's coral reefs.

	Sec. 2.  Policy.  (a) All Federal agencies whose actions may
affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems shall:  (a) identify their actions that
may affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems; (b) utilize their programs and
authorities to protect and enhance the conditions of such ecosystems;  and
(c) to the extent permitted by law, ensure that any actions they
authorize, fund, or carry out will not degrade the conditions of such

	(b) Exceptions to this section may be allowed under terms
prescribed by the heads of Federal agencies:

		(1) during time of war or national emergency;

		(2) when necessary for reasons of national security, as
determined by the President;

		(3) during emergencies posing an unacceptable threat to human
health or safety or to the marine environment and admitting of no other
feasible solution; or

		(4) in any case that constitutes a danger to human life
or a real threat to vessels, aircraft, platforms, or other man-made
structures at sea, such as cases of force majeure caused by stress of
weather or other
act of God.

	Sec. 3.  Federal Agency Responsibilities.  In furtherance of
section 2 of this order, Federal agencies whose actions affect U.S. coral
reef ecosystems, shall, subject to the availability of appropriations,
provide for implementation of measures needed to research, monitor,
manage, and restore affected ecosystems, including, but not limited to,
measures reducing impacts from pollution, sedimentation, and fishing. To
the extent not inconsistent with statutory responsibilities and
procedures, these measures shall be developed in cooperation with the U.S.
Coral Reef Task Force and fishery management councils and in consultation
with affected States, territorial, commonwealth, tribal, and local
government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the scientific
community, and commercial interests.

	Sec. 4.  U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.  The Secretary of the
Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall co-chair a U.S.
Coral Reef Task Force ("Task Force"), whose members shall include, but not
be limited to, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,
the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of
Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the
Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the
National Science Foundation, the Administrator of the Agency for
International Development, and the Administrator of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.  The Task Force shall oversee
implementation of the policy and Federal agency responsibilities set forth
in this order, and shall guide and support activities under the U.S. Coral
Reef Initiative ("CRI").  All Federal agencies whose actions may affect
U.S. coral reef ecosystems shall review their participation in the CRI and
the strategies developed under it, including strategies and plans of
State, territorial, commonwealth, and local governments, and, to the
extent feasible, shall enhance Federal participation and support of such
strategies and plans.  The Task Force shall work in cooperation with
State, territorial, commonwealth, and local government agencies,
nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community, and commercial

	Sec. 5.  Duties of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.  (a) Coral Reef
Mapping and Monitoring.  The Task Force, in cooperation with State,
territory, commonwealth, and local government partners, shall coordinate a
comprehensive program to map and monitor U.S. coral reefs.
 Such programs shall include, but not be limited to, territories and
commonwealths, special marine protected areas such as National Marine
Sanctuaries, National Estuarine Research Reserves, National Parks,
National Wildlife Refuges, and other entities having significant coral
reef resources.  To the extent feasible, remote sensing capabilities
shall be developed and applied to this program and local communities
should be engaged in the design and conduct of programs.

(b) Research.  The Task Force shall develop and implement, with the
scientific community, research aimed at identifying the major causes and
consequences of degradation of coral reef ecosystems.  This research shall
include fundamental scientific research to provide a sound framework for
the restoration and conservation of coral reef ecosystems worldwide.  To
the extent feasible, existing and planned environmental monitoring and
mapping programs should be linked with scientific research activities.
This Executive order shall not interfere with the normal conduct of
scientific studies on coral reef ecosystems.

(c) Conservation, Mitigation, and Restoration.  The Task Force, in
cooperation with State, territorial, commonwealth, and local government
agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community and
commercial interests, shall develop, recommend, and seek or secure
implementation of measures necessary to reduce and mitigate coral reef
ecosystem degradation and to restore damaged coral reefs.  These measures
shall include solutions to problems such as land-based sources of water
pollution, sedimentation, detrimental alteration of salinity or
temperature, over-fishing, over-use, collection of coral reef species, and
direct destruction caused by activities such as recreational and
commercial vessel traffic and treasure salvage.  In developing these
measures, the Task Force shall review existing legislation to determine
whether additional legislation is necessary to complement the policy
objectives of this order and shall recommend such legislation if
appropriate.  The Task Force shall further evaluate existing navigational
aids, including charts, maps, day markers, and beacons to determine if the
designation of the location of specific coral reefs should be enhanced
through the use, revision, or improvement of such aids.

(d) International Cooperation.  The Secretary of State and the
Administrator of the Agency for International Development, in cooperation
with other members of the Coral Reef Task Force and drawing upon their
expertise, shall assess the U.S. role in international trade and
protection of coral reef species and implement appropriate strategies and
actions to promote conservation and sustainable use of coral reef
resources worldwide.  Such actions shall include expanded collaboration
with other International Coral Reef Initiative ("ICRI")  partners,
especially governments, to implement the ICRI through its Framework for
Action and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network at regional, national,
and local levels.

	Sec. 6.  This order does not create any right or benefit,
substantive or procedural, enforceable in law or equity by a party against
the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,

                                   June 11, 1998.

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