Coral Reef Task Force Meeting, Wash DC

Oceanwatch at Oceanwatch at
Tue Jan 25 14:44:37 EST 2000

Coral Listers:

Greetings from the snowbound, gridlocked Nation's Capital.  Probably the most 
important meeting of the Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF) takes place in just 
over a month in Washington, DC.  A formal announcement should finally be made 
this week but I understand that the date is probably March 2.  

I strongly encourage you to attend.  The National Action Plan to Conserve 
Coral Reefs is likely to be adopted at the meeting.  There also should be 
opportunity for public comment during the meeting.  This is a critical 
opportunity for the scientific and NGO communities to signal our support for 
a meaningful, well-funded, coral reef plan.  

The location and timing of this meeting in DC is just too significant to pass 
I know that many of us have provided written comments but your physical 
presence would reinforce your support.  It would be a shame if Congress and 
the Task Force members got the wrong signal that stakeholders didn't care 
enough to support, criticize or weigh in on the most significant policy plan 
to come out of the government yet on coral reefs.  

This time it appears there might be oppportunities for formal participation.  
In addition to public comment, we are supporting having booth space available 
for organizations that might want to provide educational and scientific 
exhibits.  Oceanwatch plans to participate in the meeting and encourages 
everyone to attend.  We realize that a trip to DC isn't exactly convenient 
for many coral listers but many of you have already attended other meetings.  
This is our chance to highlight the importance of coral reefs to people 
responsible for legislating, managing and funding coral reef programs.  
Sorry, I wouldn't count on field trips--the closest thing we have to coral 
bleaching is Potomac Fever.

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