Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/21/1999)


Title I: National Marine Sanctuaries

Title II: National Estuarine Reserves

Sanctuaries and Reserves Act of 1999 - Title I: National Marine Sanctuaries - Amends the National Marine Sanctuaries Act to include in the definitions of: (1) "damages" the cost of curation and conservation of archaeological, historical, and cultural sanctuary resources and the cost of enforcement actions undertaken by the Secretary of Commerce for injury to a sanctuary resource; (2) "response costs" the costs related to the seizure, forfeiture, storage, or disposal arising from injury to sanctuary resources; and (3) "sanctuary resource" cultural and archaeological resources.

(Sec. 104) Establishes the National Marine Sanctuary System and modifies sanctuary designation standards and procedures. Requires a Federal agency that takes an action other than an alternative recommended by the Secretary, if the action results in injury to a sanctuary resource, to prevent further damage and restore or replace the resource in a way approved by the Secretary. Prohibits, subject to exception, preparation of sanctuary designation documents without sufficient funding.

(Sec. 106) Modifies the list of prohibited activities.

(Sec. 107) Empowers enforcement officers to arrest a person for enforcement interference. Makes enforcement interference a criminal offense. Allows subpoenaing of electronic files.

(Sec. 108) Requires the Secretary to conduct, support, and coordinate (currently, to conduct) research, monitoring, and education programs (currently, research, monitoring, evaluation, and education programs). Authorizes the Secretary to promote certain research and to develop interpretive facilities near any national marine sanctuary. Authorizes the establishment of facilities to promote sanctuaries and the purposes and policies of this title.

(Sec. 109) Allows special use permittees to post bonds rather than securing general liability insurance. Requires permit fees to represent the fair market value of the sanctuary resource use (currently, of the sanctuary resource use and a reasonable return to the U.S. Government). Allows in-kind contributions in lieu of a fee or waiving or reducing the fee for nonprofit activities. Removes a requirement that permittees report annually on activities conducted and revenues derived from those activities.

(Sec. 110) Authorizes: (1) the use of other governmental agencies' resources on a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis; and (2) the Secretary to accept grants from Federal, State, and local governments, interstate agencies, foundations, and other persons to carry out the Act.

(Sec. 111) Modifies venue requirements regarding civil actions by the Attorney General to recover response costs and damages regarding injury to sanctuary resources. Revises requirements regarding the use of recovered amounts. Imposes a three-year statute of limitations for recovery actions.

(Sec. 112) Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Act and for construction projects at sanctuaries.

(Sec. 113) Authorizes the establishment of one or more advisory councils to provide advice to (currently, to provide assistance to) the Secretary.

(Sec. 114) Modifies requirements regarding the use of sanctuary program symbols.

Title II: National Estuarine Reserves - Amends the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to declare it national policy to: (1) use Federal, State, and community partnerships developed through the National Estuarine Research Reserve System to improve the understanding, stewardship, and management of coastal areas; and (2) encourage the development, application, and transfer to local, State, and Federal resources managers of innovative coastal and estuarine resources management technologies and techniques that promote the long-term conservation of coastal and estuarine resources.

(Sec. 202) Revises requirements for national estuarine reserve designation. Mandates: (1) development of guidelines for the conduct of System research, education, and resource stewardship (currently, System research); and (2) promotion and coordination of System use for research, education, and resource stewardship purposes (currently, for research purposes). Modifies amount limits regarding grants for acquiring lands and waters, operating reserves, constructing reserve facilities, and supporting research and monitoring. Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with, or make grants to, any nonprofit organization to benefit a reserve, authorizing the organization to solicit donations to carry out projects; and (2) accept donations to carry out projects.

(Sec. 203) Authorizes appropriations for Reserve System grants and for grants for construction and construction-related land acquisition at reserves.