[Coral-List] Endangered species status will be considered for 82 corals

Sarah Heberling Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
Thu Feb 18 12:19:52 EST 2010

Thank you, Andrea!

For additional information on what NMFS is doing for the ESA-listed 
species of /Acropora palmata/ and /A. cervicornis/ in the U.S. and 
Caribbean, I encourage you to visit our website: 
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/acropora.htm.  There you will find FAQs 
about the listing process and about the designation of critical habitat 
under the ESA (including answers to "What does this mean to me??").  
Plus, there is a handy worksheet for figuring out which permits you 
might need when conducting research on these two listed species.  It's 
all not as scary as some would have you think.

Additionally, please visit 
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/82CoralSpecies.htm for more information 
on the petition to list 82 corals, on NMFS' 90-day response to the 
petition, and on NMFS' request for more information to support status 
reviews for these species.  Please consider providing your comments, 
data, and information to assist us with the massive task of thoroughly 
assessing the status of each the 82 candidate coral species!!


Sarah E. Heberling
NOAA Fisheries Service
Phone: (727) 824-5312
Fax: (727) 824-5309
Email: Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
Web: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pr.htm

"What good is a used up world; and how could it be worth having?"

coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 17:14:01 -0800
> From: "Andrea A. Treece" <atreece at biologicaldiversity.org>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Endangered species status will be considered
> 	for	82 corals
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <CC852BF0C9F94EAF869BEF4C58B41872 at AndreaTreece>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Hi all,
> I'd like to respond to some of the questions Gene raised about CBD's coral
> petition and the effects of listing corals under the Endangered Species Act
> (ESA). First, the purpose of the listing petition is pretty straightforward:
> to protect corals from a range of threats, including not just climate change
> and acidification, but degraded water quality, destruction by anchors, trawl
> gear, and unsustainable development. Please bear in mind that listing a
> species and designating critical habitat for it does not automatically block
> any activity.  Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis are already listed under
> the ESA and critical habitat has been designated for both species along the
> south Fla. coast and Keys.  Diving, fishing, research, and pretty much every
> other activity that was permitted before continues now.  The main difference
> is that the federal government must now ensure that any activity it
> authorizes or funds in that area (e.g., dredging) will not jeopardize the
> survival and recovery of those species or destroy their critical habitat.
> That analysis rarely results in activities being wholly curtailed.  Most
> often they are modified to minimize impacts and allowed to continue.  
> As one who works with this law day in and day out, I can assure you that
> listing corals is not going to lead to requiring rebreathers or excluding
> divers from coral habitat.  What we do hope it will accomplish with divers
> is an increased awareness that these corals are fragile, incredibly
> important habitat-builders that need to be treated with care.  I've seen
> enough of my fellow divers grabbing and kicking coral to believe that
> message has still not reached nearly enough recreational divers.
> We also hope to raise awareness regarding the threat of climate change and
> ocean acidification to coral reefs.  As many on this list have noted, public
> awareness is crucial to protecting corals.  There has been much discussion
> on the list about how to bring the "save the corals" message to the public.
> This is one more way to do that.
> As for research, it is true that researchers will need to get one more
> permit.  For researchers dedicated to understanding and conserving corals,
> I'd hope this wouldn't be seen as a reason to oppose protecting them under a
> law designed to ensure not only their survival, but their recovery.
> Moreover, ESA listing can bring with it increased attention and funding for
> scientific research on the listed species.
> I hope this information is helpful.  Please feel free to contact us if you
> have any questions about the petition, how the process works, etc.  Thank
> you all for the great work you do to protect corals.  
> Andrea
> Andrea A. Treece  
> Senior Attorney, Oceans Program
> Center for Biological Diversity
> 351 California Street, Suite 600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
> ph: 415-436-9682 x306      fax:  415-436-9683

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