Office of the Press Secretary
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CORAL REEF PROTECTION
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America and in furtherance of the purposes of the Clean Water Act of 1977, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.), Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1451, et seq.), Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.), National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), National Marine Sanctuaries Act, (16 U.S.C. 1431, et seq.), National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1, et seq.), National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee), and other pertinent statutes, to preserve and protect the biodiversity, health, heritage, and social and economic value of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and the marine environment, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Definitions.
"U.S. coral reef ecosystems" means those species, habitats, and other natural resources associated with coral reefs in all maritime areas and zones subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States (e.g., Federal, State, territorial, or commonwealth waters), including reef systems in the south Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean. (b) "U.S. Coral Reef Initiative" is an existing partnership between Federal agencies and State, territorial, commonwealth, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and commercial interests to design and implement additional management, education, monitoring, research, and restoration efforts to conserve coral reef ecosystems for the use and enjoyment of future generations. The existing U.S. Islands Coral Reef Initiative strategy covers approximately 95 percent of U.S. coral reef ecosystems and is a key element of the overall U.S. Coral Reef Initiative. (c) "International Coral Reef Initiative" is an existing partnership, founded by the United States in 1994, of governments, intergovernmental organizations, multilateral development banks, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, and the private sector whose purpose is to mobilize governments and other interested parties whose coordinated, vigorous, and effective actions are required to address the threats to the world's coral reefs. Sec. 2. Policy.
Sec. 3. Federal Agency Responsibilities. In furtherance of section 2 of this order, Federal agencies whose actions affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems, shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, provide for implementation of measures needed to research, monitor, manage, and restore affected ecosystems, including, but not limited to, measures reducing impacts from pollution, sedimentation, and fishing. To the extent not inconsistent with statutory responsibilities and procedures, these measures shall be developed in cooperation with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and fishery management councils and in consultation with affected States, territorial, commonwealth, tribal, and local government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community, and commercial interests.
Sec. 4. U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall co-chair a U.S. Coral Reef Task Force ("Task Force"), whose members shall include, but not be limited to, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Administrator of the Agency for International Development, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Task Force shall oversee implementation of the policy and Federal agency responsibilities set forth in this order, and shall guide and support activities under the U.S. Coral Reef Initiative ("CRI"). All Federal agencies whose actions may affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems shall review their participation in the CRI and the strategies developed under it, including strategies and plans of State, territorial, commonwealth, and local governments, and, to the extent feasible, shall enhance Federal participation and support of such strategies and plans. The Task Force shall work in cooperation with State, territorial, commonwealth, and local government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community, and commercial interests.
Sec. 5. Duties of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.