[Coral-List] Does the Flores amendment passed in the House of Representatives CJS approps bill defund NOAA coral activities for FY2013?

Will Nuckols wnuckols at erols.com
Fri May 11 10:51:42 EDT 2012

Earlier this week Representative Flores (R-TX) introduced an amendment that  bar the expenditure of funds under the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill (which encompasses NOAA, NFS, NASA and the Department of Justice) which support the implementation of the United States’ National Ocean Policy. 

The Flores amendment passed on a 246-174 vote, largely along party lines.  Yesterday on May 10th the House passed the full CJS spending bill for FY2013. 

As addressing corals is a specific item addressed in the National Ocean Policy implementation plan, the question of whether NOAA, which is specifically mentioned in the NOP draft implementation plan, as is the CRTF - which includes NOAA, will be barred from all funding in FY2013 under the House of Representatives spending bill, is worth asking. 

There are always NOAA folks on this listserv – can any of the NOAA representatives comment on whether any of NOAA’s coral activities have been defunded under the House CJS FY13 spending bill given the sweeping language in the Flores amendment? 

A listing of how member of the House voted on the amendment and a video of the floor debate on this item can be found at: 

the amendment language as passed is also listed at         http://wp.me/pN1jj-cF

To refresh folks’ recollection of the coral sections in the National Ocean Policy draft implementation plan, pasted below is an excerpt from the White House document.  

While other agencies key to CRTF activities such as DoD, USDA, EPA, etc.  are not affected by the House FY13 approps CJS bill, Rep. Flores and Rep Hastings have indicated an interest in inserting the same language in all House FY13 spending bills as they move forward in the House. 


William H. Nuckols III
W. H. Nuckols Consulting
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will at whnuckolsconsulting.com
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Action 4: Strengthen interagency collaboration to protect
and conserve coral reef ecosystems.
Coral reefs are among the most diverse and biologically complex
ecosystems on Earth, and they support more species per unit area than
any other marine environment. They provide important fish, areas of
natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and effective shoreline
protection. Under threat from multiple environmental stressors, coral
reefs are deteriorating worldwide at an alarming rate.
Agencies will coordinate to address two key threats to coral reef
ecosystems: impacts from land-based sources of pollution, and
impacts from planned (e.g., permitted/authorized) and unplanned
(e.g., vessel groundings, spills) activities. Principal agencies engaged
in coral reef activities (e.g., regulation, management, water quality,
and damage response) and agencies conducting and/or funding
activities that take place in coral reef ecosystems working in
partnership with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF), will
work within existing authorities, mandates, and programs to
effectively enhance protection and conservation of coral reef
Improving coral reef conservation by strengthening interagency
coordination will promote a ridge-to-reef or watershed approach to
- 50 -
address land-based sources of pollution and facilitate a more consistent approach to evaluating,
assessing, and mitigating impacts to coral reef ecosystems.
 Compile and make publically available an online reference library to include general
background materials, case studies, and protocols for addressing planned and unplanned
activities impacting coral reef ecosystems. (USCRTF; 2012).
 Complete and disseminate a reference handbook to include a review of existing policies,
agency and State/territory roles and responsibilities, a compendium of best practices,
science-based methodologies for quantifying ecosystem services, and protocols for use
when responding, assessing, mitigating, and restoring coral reef ecosystems. (USCRTF;
 Implement coordinated projects in targeted locations to reduce land-based pollutants.
Provide information and tools necessary for managers and decision-makers to identify
and implement the most effective and efficient management practices in upstream
environments. (USCRTF; 2014)

Corals are also mentioned in several other sections in the implementation plan including:
Action 1: Reduce rural sources of excessive nutrients, sediments, toxics, and
Action 5: Address threats posed by toxic chemicals and
land‐use practices to human, environmental, and wildlife
.....and others

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