H.R. 2903: Coral Reef Protection and Restoration

John C. Ogden jogden at seas.marine.usf.edu
Fri Oct 22 12:58:34 EDT 1999

Many thanks to those of you who responded to my request for editing and
ideas on my testimony on this bill.  I testified before the House
Subcommittee for Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans of the
Committee on Resources with Sally Yozell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Oceans and Atmosphere of NOAA, and Roger McManus, President of the Center
for Marine Conservation.  We had 5 minutes each and then were questioned
for about 30 minutes by SC Chairman Saxton (R-NJ) and Reps. Vento (D-MN),
Gilcrist (R-MD), and Faleomavega (D-American Samoa).

Generally the panel supported the bill.  Key points in the combined
testimony were: nesting the proposed grants program within a national
program to protect coral reefs; flexibility in matching; creation of a
special foundation within the government to facilitate leveraged funding;
equitable split in funding between the Atlantic and the Pacific; and
increased budget.

In her testimony Deputy Assistant Secretary Yozell announced that the
version of the NOAA budget reported out of the House/Senate conference had
zeroed out coral reefs.  This is very frustrating news given the intent of
H.R. 2903, the upcoming Coral Reef Task Force meeting in the V.I. next
week, and the generally high profile of coral reefs among environmental

I don't know what can be done, except to contact your congressperson as was
suggested by others to this list some time ago and to make your views
known.  In view of the Presidential Executive Order on coral reefs, those
of you who want to aim high can contact the White House.  

John C. Ogden, Ph.D., Director		Tel: 727/553-1100
Florida Institute of Oceanography		Fax: 727/553-1109
830 First Street South		
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA	Web page: http://www.marine.usf.edu/FIO

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