H.R. 4788 (109th): Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act of 2006

109th Congress, 2005–2006. Text as of Feb 16, 2006 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4788

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 16, 2006

(for himself, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Case, Ms. Bordallo, and Mr. Fortuño) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources

A BILL

To reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act of 2006.

2.

Expansion of coral reef conservation program

(a)

Project diversity

Section 204(d) of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6403(d)) is amended—

(1)

by striking “Geographic and Biological” in the heading and inserting “Project”; and

(2)

by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

(3)

Remaining funds shall be awarded for—

(A)

projects (with priority given to community-based local action strategies) that address emerging priorities or threats, including international and territorial priorities, or threats identified by the Administrator in consultation with the Coral Reef Task Force; and

(B)

other appropriate projects, as determined by the Administrator, including monitoring and assessment, research, pollution reduction, education, and technical support.

.

(b)

Approval criteria

Section 204(g) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 6403(g)) is amended—

(1)

by striking or after the semicolon in paragraph (9);

(2)

by striking paragraph (10); and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:

(10)

promoting activities designed to minimize the likelihood of vessel impacts on coral reefs, particularly those activities described in section 210(b), including the promotion of ecologically sound navigation and anchorages near coral reefs; or

(11)

promoting and assisting entities to work with local communities, and all appropriate governmental and nongovernmental organizations, to support community-based planning and management initiatives for the protection of coral reef systems.

.

3.

Emergency response

Section 206 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6405) is amended to read as follows:

206.

Emergency response actions

(a)

In general

The Administrator may undertake or authorize action necessary to prevent or minimize the destruction or loss of, or injury to, coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems from vessel impacts, derelict fishing gear, vessel anchors and anchor chains, or damage from unforeseen or disaster-related circumstances.

(b)

Actions authorized

Action authorized by subsection (a) includes vessel removal and emergency restabilization of the vessel and any impacted coral reef.

(c)

Partnering with other Federal agencies

When possible, action by the Administrator under this section should—

(1)

be conducted in partnership with other Federal agencies, including the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Interior; and

(2)

leverage resources of other agencies.

.

4.

National program

Section 207(b) of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6406) is amended—

(1)

by striking and after the semicolon in paragraph (3);

(2)

by striking partners. in paragraph (4) and inserting partners; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

activities designed to minimize the likelihood of vessel impacts or other physical damage to coral reefs, including those activities identified in section 210(b).

.

5.

Report to congress

(a)

In general

Section 208 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6407) is amended to read as follows:

208.

Report to congress

Not later than March 1, 2007, and every 3 years thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives a report describing all activities undertaken to implement the strategy, including—

(1)

a description of the funds obligated by each participating Federal agency to advance coral reef conservation during each of the 3 fiscal years next preceding the fiscal year in which the report is submitted;

(2)

a description of Federal interagency and cooperative efforts with States and United States territories to prevent or address overharvesting, coastal runoff, or other anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs, including projects undertaken with the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers;

(3)

a summary of the information contained in the vessel grounding inventory established under section 210, including additional authorization or funding, needed for response and removal of such vessels;

(4)

a description of Federal disaster response actions taken pursuant to the National Response Plan to address damage to coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems; and

(5)

an assessment of the condition of United States coral reefs, accomplishments under this Act, and the effectiveness of management actions to address threats to coral reefs.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents for the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) is amended by striking the item relating to section 208 and inserting the following:

Sec. 208. Report to Congress.

.

6.

Fund; grants; grounding inventory; coordination

(a)

In general

The Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by striking “organization solely” and all that follows in section 205(a) (16 U.S.C. 6404(a)) and inserting “organization—

(1)

to support partnerships between the public and private sectors that further the purposes of this Act and are consistent with the national coral reef strategy under section 203; and

(2)

to address emergency response actions under section 206.

;

(2)

by adding at the end of section 205(b) 16 U.S.C. 6404(b)) The organization is encouraged to solicit funding and in-kind services from the private sector, including nongovernmental organizations, for emergency response actions under section 206 and for activities to prevent damage to coral reefs, including activities described in section 210(b)(2).;

(3)

by striking the grant program in section 205(c) (16 U.S.C. 6404(c)) and inserting any grant program or emergency response action;

(4)

by redesignating sections 209 and 210 as sections 212 and 213, respectively; and

(5)

by inserting after section 208 the following:

209.

Community-Based planning grants

(a)

In general

The Administrator may make grants to entities who have received grants under section 204(c) to provide additional funds to such entities to work with local communities and through appropriate Federal and State entities to prepare and implement plans for the increased protection of coral reef areas identified by the community and scientific experts as high priorities for focused attention. The plans shall—

(1)

support attainment of 1 or more of the criteria described in section 204(g);

(2)

be developed at the community level;

(3)

utilize watershed-based approaches;

(4)

provide for coordination with Federal and State experts and managers; and

(5)

build upon local approaches or models, including traditional or island-based resource management concepts.

(b)

Terms and conditions

The provisions of subsections (b), (d), (f), and (h) of section 204 apply to grants under subsection (a), except that, for the purpose of applying section 204(b)(1) to grants under this section, 75 percent shall be substituted for 50 percent.

210.

Vessel grounding inventory

(a)

In general

The Administrator may maintain an inventory of all vessel grounding incidents involving coral reef resources, including a description of—

(1)

the impacts to such resources;

(2)

vessel and ownership information, if available;

(3)

the estimated cost of removal, mitigation, or restoration;

(4)

the response action taken by the owner, the Administrator, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, or other Federal or State agency representatives;

(5)

the status of the response action, including the dates of vessel removal and mitigation or restoration and any actions taken to prevent future grounding incidents; and

(6)

recommendations for additional navigational aids or other mechanisms for preventing future grounding incidents.

(b)

Identification of At-Risk reefs

The Administrator may—

(1)

use information from any inventory maintained under subsection (a) or any other available information source to identify coral reef areas outside designated National Marine Sanctuaries that have a high incidence of vessel impacts, including groundings and anchor damage; and

(2)

identify appropriate measures, including action by other agencies, to reduce the likelihood of such impacts.

211.

Regional coordination

The Administrator shall work in coordination and collaboration with other Federal agencies, States, and United States territorial governments to implement the strategies developed under section 203, including regional and local strategies, to address multiple threats to coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems such as coastal runoff, vessel impacts, and overharvesting.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents for the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 208 through 211 as relating to sections 211 through 214; and

(2)

by inserting the following after the item relating to section 207:

Sec. 209. Community-based planning grants.

Sec. 210. Vessel grounding inventory.

Sec. 211. Regional coordination.

.

7.

Authorization of appropriations

Section 212 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (formerly 16 U.S.C. 6408), as redesignated by section 6, is amended—

(1)

by striking $16,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, in subsection (a) and inserting $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2006, $32,000,000 for fiscal year 2007, $34,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, and $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012, of which no less than 30 percent per year (for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2012) shall be used for the grant program under section 204 and up to 10 percent per year shall be used for the Fund established under section 205,;

(2)

by striking $1,000,000 in subsection (b) and inserting $2,000,000;

(3)

by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)

Community-Based planning grants

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out section 209 the sum of $8,000,000 for fiscal years 2007 through 2012, such sum to remain available until expended.

; and

(4)

by striking subsection (d).