Commerce Deputy Secretary Bodman Announces $34 Million Funding for Coral Reef Conservation

Roger B Griffis Roger.B.Griffis at
Mon Dec 10 15:56:55 EST 2001

FYI - Information on U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting last week (Dec

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  <TITLE>Commerce Deputy Secretary Bodman Announces $34 Million Funding for Coral Reef Conservation</TITLE>
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    <TD WIDTH="100%"><B><FONT SIZE="-1" FACE="Arial">NOAA 2001-R122<BR>
      Contact: Madelyn Applebaum<BR>
    <TD WIDTH="100%">
      </FONT><FONT SIZE="-1" FACE="Arial">U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
      Recognizes Outstanding Achievements</FONT></B></CENTER></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">At today's annual meeting of the <A HREF="">U.S.
      Coral Reef Task Force </A>in Washington, D.C., Commerce Deputy
      Secretary <A HREF="">Samuel
      Bodman</A> announced $34 million for coral reef conservation
      through the <A HREF="">Commerce Department's</A>
      <A HREF="">National Oceanic and Atmospheric
      Administration</A>. Bodman underscored the importance of coral
      reefs to the nation's economy and the need to protect and conserve
      these fragile ocean resources for all generations.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">&quot;Although coral reefs cover less than
      1 percent of the earth's surface, they are some of the most valuable
      marine resources on the planet,&quot; Bodman said. &quot;The
      <A HREF="">Bush Administration</A>
      strongly supports this task force and is firmly committed to
      the conservation of our coral reefs.&quot;</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">Four groups were honored for significant
      contributions towards coral reef conservation. &quot;The awards
      recognize outstanding achievements in the conservation and sustainable
      use of coral reefs in the United States and internationally,&quot;
      said <A HREF="">Scott Gudes</A>,
      NOAA acting administrator. &quot;The persistent dedication of
      groups such as the <A HREF="">Reef Check
      Foundation</A>, the <A HREF="">U.S. Virgin
      Islands Coastal Zone Management Program</A>, the government of
      <A HREF="">Guam</A> and <A HREF="">The
      Nature Conservancy</A> is helping to reverse the coral reef crisis
      and ensure healthy coral reef ecosystems.&quot;</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">Gudes and Joseph Doddridge, acting assistant
      secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, <A HREF="">Department
      of the Interior</A>, co-chaired the meeting.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">The Reef Check Foundation was honored for
      its education and outreach efforts to implement a volunteer-based
      coral reef monitoring program to help track reef health in the
      U.S. The U.S. Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Program
      was recognized for leadership and commitment in developing its
      first Marine Park Area and a system of coral reef marine protected
      areas. The government of Guam was honored for 10 years of leadership
      in marine resource conservation, resulting in a system of coral
      reef protected areas that includes over 20 percent of Guam's
      coral reefs. The Nature Conservancy was recognized for international
      leadership and innovation in coral reef conservation through
      the use of marine protected areas, debt-for-nature swaps, coastal
      watershed management and efforts to stop destructive fishing

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, established
      in 1998, leads the U.S. response to conserving U.S. coral reefs,
      as well as U.S. government efforts to promote coral reef conservation

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">The task force includes the heads of 11
      federal agencies and governors of seven states and territories
      within their jurisdiction (<A HREF="">Florida</A>,
      <A HREF="">U.S. Virgin Islands</A>, <A HREF="">Puerto
      Rico</A>, <A HREF="">Hawaii</A>, <A HREF="">Guam</A>,
      <A HREF="">American Samoa</A> and <A
      HREF="">Northern Mariana Islands</A>).
      The <A HREF="">Freely Associated States of
      Micronesia</A>, <A HREF="">Marshall
      Islands</A> and <A HREF="">Palau</A>
      are non-voting members. The task force raises awareness of serious
      threats to coral reefs and helps develop solutions.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">Coral reefs are among the most diverse
      and biologically complex ecosystems on the planet, providing
      food and jobs for billions of people world-wide. Yet coral reefs
      are rapidly being degraded by pollution, overfishing, marine
      debris, coastal development and other impacts. An estimated 25
      percent of the world's reefs have already been destroyed and,
      if there is no action to reduce threats, another 30 percent may
      be lost within 10 to 30 years.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">Today's meeting also focused on advancing
      the task force's agenda, which includes tracking the implementation
      of the U.S. National Action Plan for Conservation of Coral Reefs.
      For more details, see <A HREF=""></A>.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic
      security and national safety through the prediction and research
      of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental
      stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.</FONT></P>

      <P><FONT FACE="Arial">To learn more about NOAA, please visit
      <A HREF=""></A>.<BR>


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