President makes new announcements re: corals, mpa's

Roger B Griffis Roger.B.Griffis at
Fri May 26 11:55:29 EDT 2000

FYI Coral List:  New announcements today by U.S. President Clinton
regarding protecting coral reefs and marine protected areas.  Please see
press release below.  Additional fact sheets on both announcements
available on the White House web site
(  Thank you.

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                        May 26,

May 26, 2000

President Clinton, in a visit to Assateague Island National Seashore at
the start of the Memorial Day weekend, will announce new protections for
America’s beaches, coasts, and ocean resources.  The President will:
Direct the Commerce and Interior departments to develop a plan to
permanently protect Hawaii’s rich coral reefs; issue an Executive Order
directing agencies to establish a network of ocean conservation areas;
and direct the Environmental Protection Agency to take new steps to
limit pollution of beaches, oceans and coasts.  In addition, the
President will call on Congress to approve his Lands Legacy initiative,
which proposes record funding for protecting ocean and coastal

New Stresses on Our Oceans and Coasts.  The Clinton Administration has
taken major steps to protect marine resources, including: extending
through 2012 a moratorium on offshore oil and gas leasing; leading
international efforts to protect whales and other marine mammals;
securing new funding to rebuild marine fisheries; and boosting funding
for national marine sanctuaries more than four-fold.  But pressures on
our oceans and coasts continue to mount. Nearly half of all new
development in the United States occurs along the coast.  Rising demand
for seafood is driving some species toward extinction.  And polluted
runoff causes toxic algal blooms, forces beach closures, and threatens
marine life and human health.

Establishing New Ocean Conservation Zones. Portions of our coasts and
ocean waters are protected in marine sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, and
other types of  "marine protected areas." There is broad scientific
consensus that strengthening and expanding these conservation zones is
critical to preserving marine resources and ensuring sustainable
economic use of the ocean.  To achieve those goals, the President today
will sign an Executive Order that:

-  Directs the Departments of Commerce and the Interior to develop a
national system of marine protected areas-- that encompasses diverse
marine ecosystems, and includes ecological reserves where fishing,
offshore oil drilling and other consumptive uses of marine resources are

-  Directs the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration to establish a Marine Protected Area Center that will
work with the Department of the Interior to develop a national framework
for managing this ocean conservation network.

- Directs the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollution of
beaches, coasts, and ocean waters by strengthening marine water quality
standards, and establishing stronger protections for areas where they
may be needed.

Preserving America’s Premier Coral Reefs. Dubbed "rainforests of the
sea," coral reefs harbor a remarkable abundance and diversity of marine
life. But around the world, corals are in decline, suffering from
pollution, over-fishing and rising ocean temperatures brought on by
global warming. Today, the President will direct the Secretaries of
Commerce and the Interior to develop a plan within 90 days to
permanently protect the coral reefs of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands,
which represent nearly 70 percent of the coral reefs in U.S. waters.
The reefs surrounding this 1200-mile-long string of uninhabited islands
support threatened sea turtles, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, and
other marine life found nowhere else on Earth.  The plan will be
developed with public input and in consultation with the state of Hawaii
and the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

White House Press Information is available on the web at

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