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H.R. 71 (113th): Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2013

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

1/3/2013--Introduced. Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2013 - Amends the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 to extend the award of remaining coral reef conservation program grant funds to appropriate projects, including monitoring and assessment, research, pollution reduction, education, and technical support.

Authorizes actions to: (1) minimize injury to a coral reef or loss of an ecosystem function resulting from human activities; and (2) stabilize, repair, or restore the reef.

Deems specified terms (such as "sanctuary resources" and "national marine sanctuary") to include any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or (subject to state consent) any state, regardless of whether the reef is in a national marine sanctuary.

Makes the destruction, loss, or injury of a coral reef not unlawful in certain circumstances, including if it was: (1) from permitted usage of fishing gear; (2) caused by an authorized activity; (3) subject to exception, the necessary result of marine scientific research; (4) caused by a federal agency in certain circumstances; or (5) unavoidable.

Modifies the Act's purposes, the goals and objectives of the national coral reef action strategy, and the Act's authorized activities.

Allows the Coral Reef Conservation Fund to be used to address emergency response actions.

Authorizes the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to: (1) make community-based planning grants for increased protection of high priority coral reefs, (2) maintain an inventory of all coral reef vessel groundings, (3) identify all coral reefs with a high incidence of vessel impacts, and (4) identify measures to reduce such impacts.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to submit an international coral reef ecosystem strategy to Congress and authorizes the Secretary to establish an international coral reef ecosystem partnership program.

Establishes the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to coordinate federal actions.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, subject to appropriations, to provide financial assistance for coral reef conservation.