[Coral-List] Follow-up to Coral Proposed Listing

Jennifer Moore - NOAA Federal jennifer.moore at noaa.gov
Fri Nov 30 13:05:35 EST 2012

Hello Coral-listers,
As you have already read, today we made our determination on the petition
to list 83 corals under the US Endangered Species Act.  I am sure there
will be lively discussion about this action.  I wanted to reach out to let
you all know a few things.  We are interested in your comments and
information that can assist us in this process.  The finding is a proposed
rule and we have opened a 90-day public comment period to ensure that any
final action is accurate and effective as possible.  Also, public hearings
are scheduled for several locations in both the Pacific and Southeast
Regions.  And we will host a series of webinars on targeted subjects to
make sure different constituencies are fully engaged.  Information about
all of these opportunities will be available at

I know there will be many questions about what the proposed listing means,
especially for research and restoration activities.  So I will outline a
few points.  First - this is a proposed rule, so nothing changes during the
year between the proposed rule and the final rule.  Second - the majority
(54) of the 66 species are being proposed as threatened.  Even if all of
those species are ultimately listed, none of the ESA prohibitions apply
unless we make a separate rule to extend the prohibitions.  Meaning
research and restoration activities proceed as usual.  Third - for the
species that are proposed as endangered - if they are ultimately listed, an
ESA Research and Enhancement Permit will be required for anyone conducting
research or restoration on the species that involves collection, harm,
injury, or mortality within the waters US.  It is one of our top priorities
to work with the research, restoration, and permitting communities to
ensure that this additional permitting process does not impact activities
that are critical to the recovery of listed species.  We also encourage
anyone conducting research or restoration on a proposed endangered species
to contact the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources to begin the
permitting process.  General information on the permitting process for
research and enhancement is located at

One last topic that I'd like to cover is the proposed reclassification of
Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis from threatened to endangered.
Everything I said above about proposed endangered species applies to the
two currently-listed acroporids.  If they are ultimately listed as
endangered, the existing "4(d) rule" that allowed exceptions for research
and restoration activities will no longer be applicable.  It is my priority
to ensure that the critical research and restoration activities that are
assisting recovery continue.

Please contact me or my partners in the Pacific Islands Region - Lance
Smith (lance.smith at noaa.gov) or Chelsey Young (chelsey.young at noaa.gov) if
you have any questions.

Thank you all!


*Jennifer Moore
ESA Coral Coordinator | Protected Resources Division
NOAA Fisheries Service
263 13th Ave South
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701727-551-5797 phone | 727-824-5309
faxjennifer.moore at noaa.gov


To those who sacrificed careers of adventure in the wide-open spaces
to wrestle for conservation in the policy arena.*

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