S.725 - Coral Reef Conservation Act of 1999106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Snowe, Olympia J. [R-ME] (Introduced 03/25/1999)|
|Committees:||Senate - Commerce, Science, and Transportation|
|Latest Action:||12/15/2000 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S11893-11894) (All Actions)|
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Text: S.725 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in Senate (03/25/1999)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [S. 725 Introduced in Senate (IS)] 106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 725 To preserve and protect coral reefs, and other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 25, 1999 Ms. Snowe (for herself, and Mr. McCain) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To preserve and protect coral reefs, and other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Coral Reef Conservation Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. PURPOSES. The purposes of this title are: (1) To preserve, sustain, and restore the health of coral reef ecosystems; (2) To assist in the conservation and protection of coral reefs by supporting conservation programs; (3) To provide financial resources for those programs; and (4) To establish a formal mechanism for collecting and allocating monetary donations from the private sector to be used for coral reef conservation projects. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this title: (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2) Coral.--The term ``coral'' means species of the phylum Cnidaria, including-- (A) all species of the orders Antipatharia (black corals), Scleractinia (stony corals), Gorgonacea (horny corals), Stolonifera (organpipe corals and others), Alcyanacea (soft corals), and Coenothecalia (blue coral), of the class Anthozoa; and (B) all species of the order Hydrocorallina (fire corals and hydrocorals), of the class Hydrozoa. (3) Coral reef.--The term ``coral reef'' means those species (including reef plants), habitats, and other natural resources associated with any reefs or shoals composed primarily of corals within all maritime areas and zones subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States (e.g., Federal, State, territorial, or commonwealth waters), including in the south Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean. (4) Corals and coral products.--The term ``corals and coral products'' means any living or dead specimens, parts, or derivatives, or any product containing specimens, parts, or derivatives, of any species referred to in paragraph (2). (5) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means the use of methods and procedures necessary to preserve or sustain corals and species associated with coral reefs as diverse, viable, and self-perpetuating coral reefs, including all activities associated with resource management, such as assessment, conservation, protection, restoration, sustainable use, and management of habitat; habitat monitoring; assistance in the development of management strategies for marine protected areas and marine resources consistent with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C.1801 et seq.); law enforcement; conflict resolution initiatives; and community outreach and education. (6) Organization.--The term ``organization'' means any qualified non-profit organization that promotes coral reef conservation. (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Commerce. SEC. 4. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION PROGRAM. (a) Grants.--The Secretary, through the Administrator and subject to the availability of funds, shall provide grants of financial assistance for projects for the conservation of coral reefs, hereafter called coral conservation projects, for proposals approved by the Administrator in accordance with this section. (b) Matching Requirements.-- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), Federal funds for any coral conservation project under this section may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of such project. For purposes of this paragraph, the non-Federal share of project costs may be provided by in-kind contributions and other noncash support. (2) The Administrator may waive all or part of the matching requirement under paragraph (1) if-- (A) the project costs are $25,000 or less; or (B) the Administrator determines that no reasonable means are available through which applicant can meet the matching requirement and the probable benefit of such project outweighs the public interest in such matching requirement. (c) Eligibility.--Any relevant natural resource management authority of a State or territory of the United States or other government authority with jurisdiction over coral reefs or whose activities directly or indirectly affect coral reefs, or educational or non-governmental institutions with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of coral reefs, may submit to the Administrator a coral conservation proposal submitted under subsection (e) of this section. (d) Geographic and Biological Diversity.--The Administrator shall ensure that funding for grants awarded under subsection (b) of this section during a fiscal year are distributed in the following manner-- (1) no less than 40 percent of funds available shall be awarded for coral conservation projects in the Pacific Ocean; (2) no less than 40 percent of the funds available shall be awarded for coral conservation projects in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea; and (3) remaining funds shall be awarded for projects that address emerging priorities or threats, including international priorities or threats, identified by the Administrator in consultation with the Coral Reef Task Force under subsection (i). (e) Project Proposals.--Each proposal for a grant under this section shall include the following: (1) The name of the individual or entity responsible for conducting the project. (2) A succinct statement of the purposes of the project. (3) A description of the qualifications of the individuals who will conduct the project. (4) An estimate of the funds and time required to complete the project. (5) Evidence of support of the project by appropriate representatives of States or territories of the United States or other government jurisdictions in which the project will be conducted. (6) Information regarding the source and amount of matching funding available to the applicant, as appropriate. (7) A description of how the project meets one or more of the criteria in subsection (g) of this section. (8) Any other information the Administrator considers to be necessary for evaluating the eligibility of the project for funding under this title. (f) Project Review and Approval.-- (1) In general.--The Administrator shall review each final coral conservation project proposal to determine if it meets the criteria set forth in subsection (g). (2) Review; approval or disapproval.--Not later than 3 months after receiving a final project proposal under this section, the Administrator shall-- (A) request written comments on the proposal from each State or territorial agency of the United States or other government jurisdiction, including the relevant regional fishery management councils established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), or any National Marine Sanctuary, with jurisdiction or management authority over coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems in the area where the project is to be conducted, including the extent to which the project is consistent with locally-established priorities; (B) for projects costing more than $25,000, provide for the regional, merit-based peer review of the proposal and require standardized documentation of that peer review; (C) after considering any written comments and recommendations based on the reviews under subparagraphs (A) and (B), approve or disapprove the proposal; and (D) provide written notification of that approval or disapproval to the person who submitted the proposal, and each of those States, territories, and other government jurisdictions. (g) Criteria for Approval.--The Administrator may approve a final project proposal under this section based on the extent that the project will enhance the conservation of coral reefs by-- (1) implementing coral conservation programs which promote sustainable development and ensure effective, long-term conservation of coral reefs.; (2) addressing the conflicts arising from the use of environments near coral reefs or from the use of corals, species associated with coral reefs, and coral products; (3) enhancing compliance with laws that prohibit or regulate the taking of corals, species associated with coral reefs, and coral products or regulate the use and management of coral reef ecosystems; (4) developing sound scientific information on the condition of coral reef ecosystems or the threats to such ecosystems; (5) promoting cooperative projects on coral reef conservation that involve affected local communities, non- governmental organizations, or others in the private sector; or (6) increasing public knowledge and awareness of coral reef ecosystems and issues regarding their long term conservation. (h) Project Reporting.--Each grantee under this section shall provide periodic reports, as specified by the Administrator. Each report shall include all information required by the Secretary for evaluating the progress and success of the project. (i) Coral Reef Task Force.--The Administrator may consult with the Coral Reef Task Force established under Executive Order 13089 (June 11, 1998), to obtain guidance in establishing coral conservation project priorities under this section. (j) Implementation Guidelines.--Within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall promulgate necessary guidelines for implementing this section. In developing those guidelines, the Administrator shall consult with regional and local entities involved in setting priorities for conservation of coral reefs. SEC. 5. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION FUND. (a) Fund.--The Administrator may enter into an agreement with an organization authorizing such organization to receive, hold and administer funds received pursuant to this section. The organization shall invest, reinvest and otherwise administer the funds and maintain such funds and any interest or revenues earned in a separate interest bearing account, hereafter referred to as the Fund, established by such organization solely to support partnerships between the public and private sectors that further the purposes of this title. (b) Authorization To Solicit Donations.--Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 3703, and pursuant to the agreement entered into under subsection (a) of this section, an organization may accept, receive, solicit, hold administer and use any gift or donation to further the purposes of this title. Such funds shall be deposited and maintained in the Fund established by an organization under subsection (a) of this section. (c) Review of Performance.--The Administrator shall conduct a continuing review of the grant program administered by an organization under this section. Each review shall include a written assessment concerning the extent to which that organization has implemented the goals and requirements of this section. (d) Administration.--Under the agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Administrator may transfer funds appropriated to carry out this Act to an organization. Amounts received by an organization under this subsection may be used for matching, in whole or in part, contributions (whether in currency, services, or property) made to the organization by private persons and State and local government agencies. SEC. 6. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE. The Administrator may make grants to any State, local or territorial government agency with jurisdiction over coral reefs for emergencies to address unforeseen or disaster related circumstance pertaining to coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems. SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. (a) Authorization of Appropriations.-- (1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $3,800,000 for each of fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002 for grants under section 4, which may remain available until expended. (2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $200,000 for each of fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002 for emergency assistance under section 6. (b) Use of Amounts Appropriated.--Not more than 5 percent of the amounts appropriated under subsection (a) may be used by the Secretary, through the Administrator, for administration of this title. (c) Limitation.--Only amounts appropriated to implement this title are subject to its requirements. <all>