NOAA coral reef funding still in limbo
Judith Lang & Lynton Land
JandL at rivnet.net
Thu Oct 5 16:11:01 EDT 2000
Dear U.S. Coral Listers,
It's not yet too late for a quick letter (suggest you fax!) encouraging the
Clinton Administration to "stay the course" with coral reefs and get
adequate funding from Congress for NOAA's coral reef programs in H.R. 4690.
Ask the Administration to fight for the full 16 million dollars it requested
in FY2001. Please CC your letter to Senator Inouye of Hawaii who plays a
key role as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Your letter doesn't need to be long, just a couple of sentences is fine if
that's all the time you have! Please write:
Council on Environmental Quality
Old Executive Office Building
722 Jackson Place
Washington DC, 20502
fax: (202) 456-6546
Senator Daniel Inouye
Attn: Margaret Cummisky
722 Hart Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Fax: (202) 224-6747
*** See below for Oceanwatch's pertinent fact sheet on the cuts in NOAA
*** See "Protocol of Congressional Visits for Scientist-Activists," which is
http://www.coral.noaa.gov/bulls/congress.pdf for a cogent explanation of
WHY it is so important for scientists to participate in the political
process, and excellent suggestions on HOW to successfully engage in visits
to congressional aides. There are links to this article in the CHAMP
Bulletins and the CHAMP links pages at:
Restore Coral Reef Funding in FY 2001 NOAA Appropriations
Legislative Status. The FY2001 CJS Appropriations bill approved by the
House eliminates all funding for national coral reef initiatives under the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Senate
Committee has approved a total of $3 million for fisheries management and $2
million earmarked for local institutions, yet the Committee eliminates
National Ocean Service funding dedicated to coral reef research,
mapping, and monitoring.
Why Are Coral Reefs Important?
* Economically Important: Coral reefs provide in excess of $3 billion in
economic benefits to the country from tourism, commercial fishing and
recreational fishing, and over $2 billion in Florida.
* Threatened: 10% of the world's reefs have already been lost. According
to NOAA, 40% could be seriously degraded or destroyed by 2028. Many of the
most threatened reefs occur in U.S. waters.
* Biologically Diverse: U.S. reefs are extremely valuable ecosystems that
support more than four times the number of animal groups than tropical rain
Why NOAA Programs Should Be Fully Funded
Mapping and Monitoring. Only five percent of U.S. reefs have ever been
mapped or monitored for environmental degradation. These funds enable NOAA,
state agencies and universities to provide sound scientific information on
the location and condition of reefs.
Research. Funding is needed to understand why diseases and coral bleaching
are ravaging reefs, and to find the cures. Research also enables scientists
and managers to prevent reef damage from vessel grounding, pollution,
overfishing and other impacts.
Response and Restoration. NOAA, states, and territories must be able to
respond to ship groundings, oil spills, and marine debris impacts, and
restore damaged coral reef ecosystems.
Fisheries Management. This funding enables NOAA to support fisheries
management plans and ecological reserves that protect coral reefs and
support economically important commercial and recreational fisheries.
Strong Congressional Support for Coral Reefs
Despite recent action to eliminate NOAA coral research and monitoring
programs, Congress has a past record of supporting coral reefs. The FY2000
budget included $6 million for coral reef mapping, monitoring and
Rather than cut these programs, Congress should provide an additional $13
million to protect the nation's 4.2 million acres of coral reefs.
More information about the Coral-list-old