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>

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