[Coral-List] Margara Grounding
Tom.Moore at noaa.gov
Fri May 26 12:56:39 EDT 2006
As clarification to some of the messages on the list regarding the M/V
Margara grounding in Puerto Rico. PRDNER, NOAA, and the Responsible
Party have an active emergency restoration effort underway at the site
to salvage and stabilize impacted corals. As part of the cooperative
natural resource damage assessment process the responsible party has
taken the lead (with direct oversight from the trustees) in implementing
the necessary actions at the site.
In this case had the responsible party had not taken the necessary
actions those actions would be implemented by the trustee agencies.
The difference between the response to this groundings and others has
nothing to do with the viability of the responsible party but rather the
statutory authority for federal agencies to pursue natural resource
damage assessment. Federal statutory authority, outside of national
marine sanctuaries, for NRDA following groundings is limited to very
specific circumstances involving the mechanics of the grounding, the
removal method, and the vessels contents.
Many reef groundings unfortunately have no response because no dedicated
teams or funding are currently available where statutory authority is
limited. This problems has been highlighted again recently with a
number of groundings and efforts are underway internally to try to
secure funds so a more organized and effective mechanism will be in
place to support and respond to future groundings where NRDA authority
may be limited.
NOAA Restoration Center
St. Petersburg, FL
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