NOAA coral reef funding still in limbo

Oceanwatch at Oceanwatch at
Fri Oct 6 09:11:39 EDT 2000

Coral Listers

I just want to echo Judy Lang's post about the importance of making your
views known to the White House about funding for coral reefs.  Also, I
would like to offer Oceanwatch's support to anyone who would like to make
Congressional visits, now or in the future.  If you are ever in
Washington, DC for whatever reason, don't pass up the opportunity!  Let us
know and we will provide background information on current coral reef
policy issues, and help you arrange a meeting with your Congressman and
Senators.  Please let us know as far as possible ahead of time.

Cliff McCreedy
><((;>   ><((;>   ><((;>
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900
Arlington, VA  22201
phone 703-351-7444
fax 703-351-7472
e-mail:  Oceanwatch at

<<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:
Ellen Athas
Council on Environmental Quality
Old Executive Office Building
Room 360
722 Jackson Place
Washington DC, 20502
fax: (202) 456-6546

Senator Daniel Inouye
Attn: Margaret Cummisky
U.S. Senate
722 Hart Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Fax: (202) 224-6747

*** See below for Oceanwatch's pertinent fact sheet on the cuts in NOAA
coral programs.  

*** See "Protocol of Congressional Visits for Scientist-Activists," which is
at  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: 

Judy Lang


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 mailing list