Cheva Heck Cheva.Heck at noaa.gov
Thu Dec 2 16:58:25 EST 2004

NOAA 04-R499-02


Contact: Cheva Heck
             Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
             305.292.0311, Ext. 26
             305.304.0179 (cell)

              Billy Causey Lauded as ìCoral Reef Championî

 The United States Coral Reef Task Force today recognized Billy Causey,
superintendent of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, as a ìCoral Reef Championî for
his continuing efforts in promoting the protection of coral reefs.  The
interagency task force meets this week in Miami, Florida.  NOAA is an
agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

 During his 14 years as superintendent of the Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary, Causey has established a network of marine zones that
set the standard in the United States for marine stewardship.  The
sanctuaryís largest zone, the 151 square-nautical-mile Tortugas
Ecological Reserve, now serves as an international model for designing
fully protected marine reserves.  Causey also serves a critical role in
advocating for the interests of Florida Bay and the Florida Keys reef
tract in planning for the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem.

 Causey has traveled the world to spread the word about the need to
protect coral reefs and bring management strategies employed in the
Florida Keys to other countries.  He has hosted numerous foreign
visitors eager to learn how the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
balances protection of a fragile coral reef ecosystem with a bustling
tourism and fishing-based economy.

 ìBilly Causeyís name is synonymous with marine resource stewardship,î
said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under
secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
ìWe recognize him for championing coral reef protection in the U.S. and
for partnering with marine resource managers worldwide to sustain ocean
resources.  Billy places a strong emphasis on working with all affected
stakeholders and this has been a key to his success as a sanctuary

 Causey holds a B.A. from the University of Corpus Christi, an M.S. from
Texas A & I University, and completed several years of postgraduate work
at the University of South Florida.  He has specialized in coral reef
ecology, reef fish and marine protected areas.  Causey has worked as a
National Park Service ranger, a commercial diver and a research
assistant.  From 1972 until 1983, Causey owned and managed Aplysia
Aquarium Collecting and Research Center in partnership with his wife
Laura.  In 1983, he became manager of the Looe Key National Marine
Sanctuary.  He has served as the superintendent of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary since its designation in 1990.

 Through the coordinated efforts of its members, including
representatives of 12 federal agencies, the governors of seven states
and territories, and the leaders of the Freely Associated States, the
U.S. Coral Reef Task Force has helped lead the nationís efforts to
protect and manage valuable coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and

 The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,896 square
nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard
bottom, seagrass meadows, mangrove communities and sand flats.  NOAA and
the state of Florida manage the sanctuary.  For more information, visit

 The National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public
awareness of Americaís maritime heritage by conducting scientific
research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs.  Today, 13
national marine sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of
Americaís ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

 NOAAís Ocean Service manages the National Marine Sanctuary Program, and
is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving, and restoring the
nationís coasts and oceans.  NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental
protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of
promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining
coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.  To learn more about
NOAA Ocean Service and the National Marine Sanctuary Program, please
visit http://www.nos.noaa.gov.

 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 the nationís coastal
and marine resources.

On the Web:
NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov
NOAA National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: http://floridakeys.noaa.gov
U.S. Coral Reef Task Force: http://www.coralreef.gov


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