Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the House unanimously passed H.R. 1205, to reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and for other purposes.
“Today, the House passed, H.R. 1205, a legislation I introduced in February 2007 to reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “This legislation is comprised of language I introduced in the previous Congress and also includes recommendations from Members of Congress and the current Administration. This legislation will do more to protect our nation’s coral reefs and will expand the necessary funding to protect and conserve our coral reefs for the future.”
H.R. 1205 will authorize necessary funding for management assistance grants, enhance research and monitoring, implement local action strategies, and, importantly, codify the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force established by Executive Order 13089 signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998. Also, H.R. 1205 recognizes the management of responsibilities for coral reef resources under the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.
H.R. 1205 also provides funding for cooperative agreements for coral reef institutes in carrying out research and support for coral reef conservation. At Congressman Faleomavaega’s request, this legislation will also provide funding for the establishment of a Marine Science Laboratory in American Samoa.
“I am grateful that fellow Members of Congress have the same understanding and appreciation of the importance of coral reefs in the U.S., especially for those who represent coastal States and our U.S. territories. Any impact on this vital resource greatly affects local and national economies and our environment. Coral reef is one of many issues that we share and I know that H.R. 1205 is a positive step in addressing critical matters affecting coral reefs not only here in the U.S. but around the world.”
“For now, we must await Senate consideration of this bipartisan legislation. I am hopeful that our colleagues in the Senate will pass it favorably. With the drastic change in climate and the escalation of global warming, we must act fast to protect and conserve our coral reefs. This is an important national issue that we must address immediately.”
“At this time, I want to thank the cosponsors of this bipartisan legislation and also want to commend both Chairman Nick Rahall and Ranking Member Don Young of the Committee on Natural Resources for their leadership and unwavering support. I also want to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend, Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans, for her leadership on this issue,” Congressman Faleomavaega concluded.