NOAA Funding

Judith Lang & Lynton Land JandL at
Thu Jul 1 09:31:37 EDT 1999

Dear US-based Listers, 
Osha Davidson asked for information on how the NOAA funding bills are
I can't address that question, but here are some specifics about S. 1253,
courtesy of Dave Raney (d_raney at, head of the Sierra Club's Coral
Reef Working Group, and the Pacific Non-Government Organization
Representative to the US Coral Reef Task Force):

According to Senator Inouye's office, the hearing record for the
Subcommittee will be held open for about another week from today to receive
additional written testimony. THAT MEANS THERE IS STILL TIME TO CONTRIBUTE A

The members of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries are:
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Chair
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Ranking Minority Member
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA)
Sen. John Breaux (D-LA)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

S.1253 was co-sponsored by Subcommittee members, Inouye, Kerry, and Breaux
(also by Akaka, Boxer, Hollings, and Feinstein, who are not on the

A briefing sheet on S.1253, provided by Senator Inouye's office:
Summary of Coral Reef Protection Act of 1999

Background: Coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems contain some of the
planet's richest biological diversity, habitats, and systems supporting
thousands of fish, invertebrates, reef algae, plankton, sea grasses, and
other species.  Coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems also have great
commercial, recreational, cultural, and esthetic value to human communities
as shoreline protection, areas of natural beauty, and sources of food,
pharmaceuticals, jobs, and revenues through a wide variety of activities
including education, research, tourism, and fishing.  Despite this
importance, little is currently known about the condition of coral reefs and
studies indicate that coral reefs continue to be degraded and severely
threatened by human and environmental impacts including land-based
pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices, vessel groundings,
and climate change.

Purpose: The Coral Reef Protection Act of 1999 would authorize
appropriations totaling $100 million over a period of five years to
preserve, sustain, and restore the health of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and
assist in the conservation and protection of coral reefs by supporting
conservation programs.  Additionally, this legislation would leverage the
federal dollars appropriated for these purposes by establishing a formal
mechanism for collecting and allocating matching monetary donations from the
private sector to be used for coral reef conservation projects.  This
authorization would support the President's Lands Legacy Initiative; the
Coral Reef Task Force, established last year by Presidential Executive
Order; the United States Coral Reef Initiative; and other ongoing efforts to
ensure the long-term health and sustainability of coral reef ecosystems.

Grants: The Coral Reef Protection Act of 1999 would authorize $15 million
per year in grants to support coral reef and coral reef ecosystem
conservation and restoration projects.  Any relevant State or territorial
natural resource management authority or other government authority with
jurisdiction over coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems, or educational or
non-governmental institutions with demonstrated expertise in the
conservation of coral reefs would be eligible to apply for these grants,
which would be administered by the Secretary of Commerce.  Except for
projects costing less than $25,000, or specific exemptions granted by the
Secretary, these grants would be subject to a 25% non-federal matching

Coral Reef Conservation Fund: The Coral Reef Protection Act of 1999 would
authorize the Secretary to enter into an agreement to authorize a foundation
to solicit, receive, hold, and administer gifts an donations received to
further the purposes of this Act.  These funds could be combined with the
federal grant funds in support of coral reef conservation and restoration

National Program: The Coral Reef Protection Act of 1999 would authorize $5
million per year to directly support federal conservation and restoration
efforts.  It would also authorize the Secretary to enter into joint projects
with any Federal, State, territorial, or local authority, or provide
financial assistance to any person for coral reef conservation and
restoration projects.

Judy Lang
JandL at

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