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110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-394
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
             CORAL REEF CONSERVATION AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

                October 22, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1205]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1205) to reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation 
Act of 2000, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act 
of 2007''.

SEC. 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) in the heading by striking ``Geographic and Biological'' 
        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 
        areas identified under 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 ecosystems.''.

SEC. 3. EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

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

``SEC. 206. EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIONS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may undertake or authorize 
action necessary--
          ``(1) to minimize the destruction or loss of, or injury to, a 
        coral reef from--
                  ``(A) vessel impacts, derelict fishing gear, vessel 
                anchors, and anchor chains; and
                  ``(B) from unforeseen or disaster-related 
                circumstances; and
          ``(2) to stabilize, repair, recover, or restore such coral 
        reef.
  ``(b) Vessel Removal; Restabilization.--Action authorized by 
subsection (a) includes vessel removal and emergency restabilization of 
the vessel or 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 government 
        agencies as appropriate, including--
                  ``(A) the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the 
                Department of the Interior; and
                  ``(B) agencies of States and territories of the 
                United States; and
          ``(2) leverage resources of other agencies.
  ``(d) Emergency Response Assistance by Other Federal Agencies.--
          ``(1) In general.--The head of any other Federal agency may 
        assist the Administrator in emergency response actions under 
        this section, using funds available for operations of the 
        agency concerned.
          ``(2) Reimbursement.--The Administrator, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations, may reimburse a Federal agency 
        for assistance provided under paragraph (1).
  ``(e) Liability for Costs and Damages to Coral Reefs.--
          ``(1) Treatment of coral reefs under national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--For purposes of the provisions set forth in 
        paragraph (2), and subject to paragraph (3), each of the terms 
        `sanctuary resources', `resource', `sanctuary resource managed 
        under law or regulations for that sanctuary,' `national marine 
        sanctuary', `sanctuary resources of the national marine 
        sanctuary', and `sanctuary resources of other national marine 
        sanctuaries' is deemed to include any coral reef that is 
        subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or any State, 
        without regard to whether such coral reef is located in a 
        national marine sanctuary.
          ``(2) Applicable provisions of national marine sanctuaries 
        act.--The provisions referred to in paragraph (1) are the 
        following provisions of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act:
                  ``(A) Paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 302 (16 
                U.S.C. 1432).
                  ``(B) Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of section 
                306 (16 U.S.C. 1436).
                  ``(C) Section 307 (16 U.S.C. 1437).
                  ``(D) Section 312 (16 U.S.C. 1443).
          ``(3) State consent required.--
                  ``(A) In general.--This subsection shall not apply to 
                any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of a 
                State unless the Governor of that State notifies the 
                Secretary that the State consents to that application.
                  ``(B) Revocation of consent.--The governor of a State 
                may revoke consent under subparagraph (A) by notifying 
                the Secretary of such revocation.
          ``(4) Consistency with international law and treaties.--Any 
        action taken under the authority of this subsection must be 
        consistent with otherwise applicable international law and 
        treaties.
          ``(5) Actions authorized with respect to vessels.--Actions 
        authorized under this subsection include vessel removal, and 
        emergency re-stabilization of a vessel and any coral reef that 
        is impacted by a vessel.
          ``(6) Regulations.--The Secretary may issue regulations 
        necessary to implement this subsection.''.

SEC. 4. NATIONAL PROGRAM.

  (a) Purpose of Act.--Section 202 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act 
of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401) is amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
          ``(3) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to such 
        ecosystems including large-scale threats related to climate 
        change, to benefit local communities and the Nation, and to the 
        extent practicable support and enhance coral reef research 
        capabilities at local academic institutions;''; and
          (2) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon at the end of 
        paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end of paragraph 
        (6) and inserting ``; and'', and by adding at the end the 
        following:
          ``(7) to recognize the benefits of healthy coral reefs to 
        island and coastal communities and to encourage Federal action 
        to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, the continued 
        availability of those benefits.''.
  (b) Goals and Objectives of National Coral Reef Action Strategy.--
Section 203(b)(8) of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 
6402(b)(8)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(8) conservation, including the consideration of island and 
        local traditions and practices.''.
  (c) Amendments Relating to Activities to Conserve Coral Reefs and 
Coral Reef Ecosystems.--Section 207(b) of the Coral Reef Conservation 
Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6406) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (3) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon;
          (2) in paragraph (4)--
                  (A) by striking ``cooperative conservation'' and 
                inserting ``cooperative research, conservation,''; and
                  (B) by striking ``partners.'' and inserting 
                ``partners, including academic institutions located in 
                those States, territories, and freely associated States 
                referred to in section 212; 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 areas identified in section 210(b).''.

SEC. 5. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

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

``SEC. 208. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

  ``Not later than March 1, 2010, and every 3 years thereafter, the 
Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Natural 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, United States territories, freely 
        associated States, and non-governmental partner organizations 
        to prevent or address overharvesting, coastal runoff, or other 
        anthropogenic impacts on coral reef ecosystems, including 
        projects undertaken with the Department of the Interior, the 
        Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, 
        and the 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, including 
        actions taken to address large-scale threats to coral reef 
        ecosystems related to climate change.''.

SEC. 6. FUND; GRANTS; GROUNDING INVENTORY; COORDINATION.

  (a) Fund; Grants; Grounding Inventory; Coordination.--The Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) is amended--
          (1) in section 205(a) (16 U.S.C. 6404(a)), by striking 
        ``organization solely'' and all that follows 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 areas identified in section 210(b)(2).'';
          (3) in section 205(c) (16 U.S.C. 6404(c)), by striking ``the 
        grant program'' and inserting ``any grant program or emergency 
        response action'';
          (4) by redesignating sections 209 and 210 as sections 213 and 
        214, respectively; and
          (5) by inserting after section 208 the following:

``SEC. 209. COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING GRANTS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may make grants to entities that 
are eligible to receive 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 where applicable watershed-based or ecosystem-
        based approaches;
          ``(4) provide for coordination with Federal and State experts 
        and managers;
          ``(5) build upon local approaches or models, including 
        traditional or island-based resource management concepts; and
          ``(6) complement local action strategies or regional plans 
        for coral reef conservation.
  ``(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'.

``SEC. 210. VESSEL GROUNDING INVENTORY.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator, in coordination with other 
Federal agencies, may maintain an inventory of all vessel grounding 
incidents involving coral reefs, 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 all coral reef areas 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.

``SEC. 211. REGIONAL COORDINATION.

  ``The Administrator shall work in coordination and collaboration with 
other Federal agencies, States, and United States territorial 
governments to implement the national coral reef action strategy 
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, overharvesting, and factors 
attributed to climate change.

``SEC. 212. UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE.

  ``(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the United States 
Coral Reef Task Force.
  ``(b) Goal.--The goal of the Task Force shall be to lead, coordinate, 
and strengthen Federal Government actions to better preserve and 
protect coral reef ecosystems.
  ``(c) Duties.--The duties of the Task Force shall be--
          ``(1) to coordinate, in cooperation with State, territory, 
        freely associated State, commonwealth, and local government 
        partners, academic, and nongovernmental partners if 
        appropriate, activities regarding the mapping, monitoring, 
        research, conservation, mitigation, restoration of coral reefs 
        and coral reef ecosystems;
          ``(2) to monitor and advise regarding implementation of the 
        policy and Federal agency responsibilities set forth in 
        Executive Order 13089 and the national coral reef action 
        strategy developed under section 203; and
          ``(3) to work with the Secretary of State and the 
        Administrator of the Agency for International Development, and 
        in coordination with the other members of the Task Force, to--
                  ``(A) assess the United States role in international 
                trade and protection of coral species; and
                  ``(B) encourage implementation of appropriate 
                strategies and actions to promote conservation and 
                sustainable use of coral reef resources worldwide.
  ``(d) Membership, Generally.--The Task Force shall be comprised of--
          ``(1) the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, and the Secretary of the Interior, who shall be 
        co-chairs of the Task Force;
          ``(2) the Administrator of the Agency of International 
        Development;
          ``(3) the Secretary of Agriculture;
          ``(4) the Secretary of Defense;
          ``(5) the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Corps of 
        Engineers;
          ``(6) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
          ``(7) the Attorney General;
          ``(8) the Secretary of State;
          ``(9) the Secretary of Transportation;
          ``(10) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency;
          ``(11) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and 
        Space Administration;
          ``(12) the Director of the National Science Foundation;
          ``(13) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
          ``(14) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
          ``(15) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the State of Florida;
          ``(16) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the State of Hawaii;
          ``(17) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Territory of Guam;
          ``(18) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Territory of American Samoa; and
          ``(19) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Virgin Islands.
  ``(e) Nonvoting Members.--The President, or a representative of the 
President, of each of the Freely Associated States of the Federated 
States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the 
Republic of Palau may appoint a nonvoting member of the Task Force.
  ``(f) Responsibilities of Federal Agency Members.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Federal agency members of the Task 
        Force shall--
                  ``(A) identify the actions of their agencies that may 
                affect coral reef ecosystems;
                  ``(B) utilize the programs and authorities of their 
                agencies to protect and enhance the conditions of such 
                ecosystems; and
                  ``(C) assist in the implementation of the National 
                Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, the national coral 
                reef action strategy developed under section 203, the 
                local action strategies, and any other coordinated 
                efforts approved by the Task Force.
          ``(2) Co-chairs.--In addition to their responsibilities under 
        paragraph (1), the co-chairs of the Task Force shall administer 
        performance of the functions of the Task Force and facilitate 
        the coordination of the Federal agency members of the Task 
        Force.
  ``(g) Working Groups.--
          ``(1) In general.--The co-chairs of the Task Force may 
        establish working groups as necessary to meet the goals and 
        duties of this Act. The Task Force may request the co-chairs to 
        establish such a working group.
          ``(2) Participation by nongovernmental organizations.--The 
        co-chairs may allow a nongovernmental organization or academic 
        institution to participate in such a working group.
  ``(h) FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall 
not apply to the Task Force.''.
  (b) Cooperative Agreements.--Section 204 of the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6403) is amended by adding at the 
end the following:
  ``(k) Multiyear Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator may enter 
into multiyear cooperative agreements with the heads of other Federal 
agencies, States, territories, other freely associated States, local 
governments, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations 
to carry out the activities of the national coral reef action strategy 
developed under section 203 and to implement regional strategies 
developed pursuant to section 211.''.

SEC. 7. AMENDMENTS RELATING TO DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAM.

  (a) Amendments and Clarifications to Definitions.--
          (1) Fish and wildlife coordination act.--Section 8 of the 
        Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 666b) is amended 
        by inserting before the period at the end the following: ``, 
        including coral reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in 
        section 214 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000)''.
          (2) Fish and wildlife act of 1956 and fish and wildlife 
        improvement act of 1978.--With respect to the authorities under 
        the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.) and 
        the authorities under the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 
        1978 (16 U.S.C. 742l), references in such Acts to ``wildlife'' 
        and ``fish and wildlife'' shall be construed to include coral 
        reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in section 214 of the 
        Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as amended by this Act).
  (b) Coral Reef Conservation Assistance.--The Secretary of the 
Interior may provide technical assistance and, subject to the 
availability of appropriations, financial assistance to coastal States 
(as that term is defined in the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as 
amended by this Act).

SEC. 8. CLARIFICATION OF DEFINITIONS.

  Section 214 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as 
redesignated by section 6(a) of this Act (relating to definitions; 16 
U.S.C. 6409), is further amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
          ``(2) Conservation.--The term `conservation' means the use of 
        methods and procedures that are necessary to preserve or 
        sustain coral reefs and associated species as diverse, viable, 
        and self-perpetuating coral reef ecosystems, including--
                  ``(A) all activities associated with resource 
                management, such as assessment, conservation, 
                protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
                management of habitat;
                  ``(B) mapping;
                  ``(C) monitoring of coral reef ecosystems;
                  ``(D) assistance in the development of management 
                strategies for marine protected area or networks 
                thereof 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.);
                  ``(E) law enforcement;
                  ``(F) conflict resolution initiatives;
                  ``(G) community outreach and education; and
                  ``(H) activities that promote safe and ecologically 
                sound navigation.'';
          (2) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
          ``(3) 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), 
                Alcyonacea (soft corals), and Helioporacea (blue 
                coral), of the class Anthozoa; and
                  ``(B) all species of the families Milleporidae (fire 
                corals) and Stylasteridae (stylasterid hydrocorals), of 
                the class Hydrozoa.'';
          (3) by amending paragraph (4) to read as follows:
          ``(4) Coral reef.--The term `coral reef' means a limestone 
        structure composed in whole or in part of living zooxanthellate 
        stony corals (Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia), their 
        skeletal remains, or both.''; and
          (4) by amending paragraph (7) to read as follows:
          ``(7) Secretary.--The term `Secretary'--
                  ``(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), means 
                the Secretary of Commerce; and
                  ``(B) in sections 203, 206(e), and 209, means--
                          ``(i) the Secretary of the Interior, with 
                        respect to any coral reef or component thereof 
                        that is located in--
                                  ``(I) the National Wildlife Refuge 
                                System;
                                  ``(II) the National Park System; or
                                  ``(III) the waters surrounding Wake 
                                Island under the jurisdiction of the 
                                Secretary of the Interior, as set forth 
                                in Executive Order 11048 (27 Fed. Reg. 
                                8851), dated September 4, 1962; or
                          ``(ii) the Secretary of Commerce, with 
                        respect to any other coral reef or component 
                        thereof.''.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  Section 213 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (formerly 16 
U.S.C. 6408), as redesignated by section 4, is amended--
          (1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
  ``(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary of Commerce to carry out this title $30,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2008, $32,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, $34,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2010 and $35,000,000 for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.'';
          (2) in subsection (b) by striking ``$1,000,000'' 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, $8,000,000 
for fiscal years 2008 through 2012, to remain available until 
expended.''; and
          (4) by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following:
  ``(d) Department of the Interior.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this title 
$5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.''.

SEC. 10. FUNDING FOR MARINE FACILITIES, CORAL REEF RESEARCH, AND CORAL 
                    REEF INSTITUTES.

  (a) American Samoa Community College.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated $1,000,000 to the Secretary of Commerce, acting through 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to provide funds 
to a research facility for coral reef research and protection, and 
coastal ecology and development, at the American Samoa Community 
College.
  (b) University of Guam.--There is authorized to be appropriated 
$1,000,000 to the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to provide funds to the 
University of Guam for coral reef research and protection.
  (c) Support for Coral Reef Institutes.--The Administrator, subject to 
the availability of appropriations specifically to carry out this 
subsection, may enter into, renegotiate, or extend a cooperative 
agreement with any university or local academic institution or other 
research center with established programs that support coral reef 
conservation to accomplish the following:
          (1) Provide technical and other assistance to build capacity 
        for effective resource management on a regional level and 
        within local communities.
          (2) Facilitate interdisciplinary research regarding coral 
        reef ecosystems to improve resource management and improve 
        understanding of potential impacts to such ecosystems 
        attributed to climate change.
          (3) Conduct public education programs regarding coral reefs 
        and coral reef ecosystems to improve public awareness of the 
        need to protect and conserve such resources.
          (4) To advance the purposes and policies set forth in the 
        Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000.
  (d) Definitions.--For purposes of this section the definitions in 
section 214 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as redesignated 
by section 6(a) of this Act and amended by section 8 of this Act, 
apply.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1205 is to reauthorize the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Often called the ``rainforests of the sea,'' coral reefs 
support more species per unit area than any other marine 
ecosystem, including about 4,000 documented fish species, 800 
species of hard corals, and hundreds of other species. Located 
along one-sixth of the world's coastlines, coral reefs provide 
the basis for an estimated $400 billion global fishing and 
tourism industry. Growing interest in the medicinal properties 
of corals as possible cures for cancer, arthritis, human 
bacterial infections, viruses and other diseases increase the 
importance of corals. Aside from their economic value, some 
corals which live 300 years or more can provide scientists with 
environmental data important to climate change and ocean 
acidification investigations.
    Reef building corals are tiny marine animals dependent on 
symbiotic algae to convert sunlight and nutrients into energy 
for growth and reproduction. Commonly found growing in colonies 
of polyps, hard and soft corals secrete calcium carbonate 
exoskeletons that, in the aggregate, form coral reef 
structures. These structures reproduce and grow to become 
massive living units covering wide areas of shallow tropical 
and subtropical seas, like Australia's Great Barrier Reef, 
representing some of the oldest living systems on the planet. 
Although typical reef-building corals are found in shallow, 
warm waters, other coral species that reside in deep waters, 
such as offshore Alaska, have been discovered. However, H.R. 
1205 only applies to tropical and subtropical coral reefs where 
U.S. research, monitoring, mapping and management activities 
are focused.
    The United States has jurisdiction over coral reef 
ecosystems covering more than 17,000 square kilometers within 
the boundary of its 200-mile exclusive economic zone. 
Approximately 90 percent of these ecosystems are located in the 
Western Pacific Ocean, including marine areas surrounding 
American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii and the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands. Coral reefs are also well developed 
in the coastal waters surrounding Florida (the Florida Keys is 
the world's third largest coral reef ecosystem), Puerto Rico, 
the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other small island possessions.
    Despite their importance, coral reefs are some of the most 
threatened marine ecosystems in the United States and 
worldwide. According to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring 
Network, more than 28 percent of the world's coral reefs have 
been lost permanently. Even small temperature increases (water 
exceeding 30 degrees Celsius) can trigger coral bleaching, 
where corals expel the symbiotic algae that support the animal. 
In the absence of other stressors, normally healthy reefs may 
survive short-term bleaching events. However, many coral reefs 
must cope with multiple environmental threats, including 
overfishing and destructive fishing practices (i.e., cyanide 
poisoning, dynamite, etc.); ship groundings and debris; human 
population growth and shoreline development; polluted run off 
and degraded water quality; and siltation and impaired water 
clarity. In fact, researchers estimate that 58 percent of the 
world's coral reefs are potentially threatened by human 
activities.
    Factors related to climate change, including ocean 
acidification and warming of tropical and subtropical coastal 
waters, are increasingly recognized as serious threats to coral 
reefs. Cumulatively, these factors inhibit photosynthesis, 
reduce biodiversity and abundance, and retard reproduction and 
recruitment of coral species, reducing the natural resiliency 
of coral reefs to recover to a healthy condition. Additionally, 
coral reef biodiversity depends on total habitat area. Once a 
reef area is reduced, the risk of species extinction 
accelerates, and the ability of reefs to rebound is 
compromised.
    In 1997, during the International Year of the Coral Reef, 
significant attention was generated about the global 
deterioration and loss of coral reef ecosystems and the 
potential negative social, economic and environmental 
implications. In response to this global concern, President 
Clinton issued Executive Order #13089 of July 11, 1998 (63 
Federal Register 32701) to spur coral reef conservation in the 
United States. This order directs federal agencies to identify 
actions that may affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems and to use 
their authorities and programs to protect these ecosystems. To 
the extent permitted by law, agencies were to ensure that any 
activities they authorized, funded or carried out do not 
degrade the conditions of coral systems.
    This order also established the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force 
(CRTF), under the joint leadership of the Secretaries of 
Commerce and the Interior, with duties to map corals, conduct 
research on the cause of coral degradation, and implement 
monitoring measures, among other responsibilities. Other CRTF 
members include the Attorney General and the Secretaries of 
Agriculture, State, Transportation and Defense, the 
administrators of the Agency for International Development, the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, and the Director of the 
National Science Foundation. Also, in recognition of the vital 
role of states and territories, the governors of Florida, 
Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the 
Presidents of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of 
Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands 
(collectively referred to as the Freely Associated States) were 
included as full or ex officio members of the CRTF. The CRTF 
has met 18 times since its inception; the most recent meeting 
was held in American Samoa in August 2007.
    In 2000, the CRTF published a coral reef National Action 
Plan (http://coralreef.gov/actionplan.cfm) and followed up in 
2002 with the release of a National Coral Reef Action Strategy 
to implement the plan as required in the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act. These documents detail the operating 
priorities and policies of the Task Force. In general, the CRTF 
strives to improve the understanding of coral reef ecosystems 
and the natural and anthropogenic processes that determine 
their health and viability. Additionally, the Task Force 
supports efforts to reduce the adverse impacts of human 
activities on coral reefs and associated ecosystems. The Task 
Force serves as a catalyst to focus Federal and non federal 
actions on crosscutting issues, such as mapping and information 
gathering, ecosystem science and conservation, coastal uses, 
air and water quality, public outreach and education and 
international cooperation.
    Additionally, the CRTF has developed local coral reef 
conservation action strategies, released in 2000 a report 
entitled The Reef Managers Guide to Coral Bleaching, initiated 
comprehensive mapping and surveying of U.S. coral reef 
ecosystems, completed a status report on U.S. coral reef marine 
protected areas, removed tons of marine debris from coral reef 
ecosystems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and engaged 
the international community in efforts to address trade in 
corals and other reef wildlife. At its most recent meeting the 
CRTF created a climate change working group to develop best 
management practices to guide local resource managers on how to 
minimize the impact of climate-induced stresses and to better 
educate the public about the impacts of climate changes.
    An important accomplishment directly linked to the 
activities of the CRTF took place on June 15, 2006, when 
President George W. Bush utilized his authority under the 
Antiquities Act of 1906 and proclaimed the Northwest Hawaiian 
Islands as a marine national monument (since named as the 
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument). This unprecedented 
action to protect U.S. coral reef ecosystems created the 
single-largest conservation area under U.S. jurisdiction. This 
137,797 square mile (105,564 nautical square miles) monument is 
the world's largest marine conservation area. As specified in 
the proclamation, the monument is managed jointly by the 
Departments of Commerce and the Interior. An interim management 
plan guides operations until the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, in coordination with the State of Hawaii, 
develop a final management plan. A draft management plan and 
environmental assessment are scheduled for public release in 
early 2008.
    The NOAA Administrator, which functions as a co-chair of 
the CRTF for the Secretary of Commerce, was authorized under 
the Act to implement a multifaceted coral reef science, 
management and outreach program. The agency has received on 
average $28 million per year for the period between Fiscal 
Years 2001-2007 to implement the Act. This funding has been 
distributed to eligible entitities through two principal grant 
programs (the Coral Reef Conservation Grant Program and the 
Coral Reef Conservation Fund), and supported the national 
program to promote science, research, monitoring, restoration 
and mitigation, socioeconomic evaluations, mapping, management, 
training and education, outreach activities, and international 
conservation projects. On average, NOAA has distributed 
approximately $6 million per year since 2002 in conservation 
grants to states, territories, localities and other non federal 
partners located in the U.S. and abroad.
    Despite its management responsibility for 3.6 million acres 
of coral reefs and associated habitats within the National 
Parks and National Wildlife Refuges, and the Secretary of the 
Interior's role as co-chairman of the CRTF, the Department of 
the Interior has not developed a dedicated coral reef 
conservation program comparable to NOAA. The Interior 
Department has, however, funded coral reef activities within 
its core programs to fulfill its CRTF co-chair 
responsibilities. For Fiscal Year 2008, the Department 
developed a crosscutting budget and requested approximately 
$12.7 million to support its activities.
    The Administration, in a draft bill sent to the Congress on 
May 7, 2007, recommends that the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 
2000 be amended to recognize the role of the Interior 
Department in the management of U.S. coral reefs. This action 
should enable the Interior Department to function more 
effectively as co-chair of the CRTF and provide technical and 
financial assistance to the states and territories for the 
conservation of coral reefs.
    The Administration, States, U.S. Insular Areas, and non 
governmental organizations have recommended amendments to 
address additional concerns and gaps in authority. The 
definitions of ``coral,'' ``coral reef'' and ``coral reef 
ecosystem'' have been found to be either taxonomically 
inaccurate or spatially limited to exclude features essential 
to coral reef ecosystems. In recognition of this concern, the 
Administration worked with coral reef scientists to develop new 
definitions that are taxonomically and ecologically accurate. 
Such definitions are included in the Administration's draft 
legislation sent to the Congress.
    The frequency of vessel groundings and subsequent damage to 
coral reef resources remain a serious threat to the long-term 
health of coral reef ecosystems. At present, unless the 
circumstances of a grounding trigger the emergency response 
authorities in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, neither NOAA nor 
any other Federal agency have the authority to respond to 
grounding incidents or other emergencies. In addition, no 
systematic method is in place to track grounding events, their 
location and impact, and potential threats to navigation. 
Experience has shown that those prompt response actions can 
greatly reduce the spatial extent and long-term impacts caused 
by grounding incidents or other natural events, such as 
floating marine debris generated by huge cyclonic storms. The 
Administration, states and territories support amendments to 
authorize emergency response activities.
    The Committee has also been made aware that neither NOAA 
nor the Departments of the Interior have authority to take 
enforcement actions and recover costs for response and 
restoration activities from responsible parties that 
intentionally or unintentionally damage coral reef resources. 
Currently, only coral reef resources located within national 
marine sanctuaries receive such protection. By virtue of its 
designation as a national monument, and not as a national 
marine sanctuary, none of the 2.7 million acres of coral reefs 
within the new Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument fall 
under the protections of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. 
This gap has created a significant management liability. The 
Administration has acknowledged this shortcoming and requested 
that the Act be amended to address this problem.
    The CRTF's development of local coral reef conservation 
action strategies has not only helped develop greater local 
capacity for coral reef research, management and education, but 
also strengthened coordination and cooperation between the 
Federal and non federal partners of the CRTF. Amending the Act 
to emphasize the importance of local community planning, to 
better incorporate local academic institutions into the 
framework of research and public education and outreach, and to 
provide additional financial resources to support these 
activities would advance substantially the ability of CRTF and 
its state and territorial partners to meet the goals contained 
with the national action strategy and the Act.
    The Committee intends for this Act to strengthen the 
authority of the Department of the Interior to budget 
accordingly and include in its future year budget submissions 
sufficient and new resources to support the local action 
strategies developed by the CRTF consistent with the National 
Action Plan. The Committee notes that previous year budget 
requests of the Department of the Interior to date have 
identified funds for ongoing programs of the United States 
Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 
Office of Insular Affairs to develop and implement local action 
strategies. Conversely, NOAA in previous years has requested 
new funds separate and apart from its otherwise ongoing 
programs to support local action strategies.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1205 was introduced on February 27, 2007, by Mr. 
Faleomavaega (D-AS) with Ms. Bordallo (D-GU), Mrs. Christenson 
(D-VI), and Mr. Abercrombie (D-HI) as original cosponsors. The 
bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and 
within the Committee to the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife 
and Oceans. The bill was also referred to the Committee on 
Science and Technology. On March 6, 2007, the Subcommittee held 
a hearing on H.R. 1205. Witnesses testified that the continued 
decline of coral reef ecosystems in the United States and 
globally support reauthorization and amendments to ensure to 
the greatest extent practicable that the activities of the 
federal government and state, territorial and local governments 
affecting coral reefs are coordinated, compatible and effective 
in addressing the multiple threats negatively impacting these 
ecosystems. Witnesses agreed that the Act should be amended to 
better support local coral reef research and conservation 
activities, to address gaps in existing authorities which limit 
the ability of the federal government to track and respond to 
incidents that damage coral reefs, and to provide increases in 
the authorized funding levels.
    On March 22, 2007, the Subcommittee met to mark up the 
bill. Mr. Faleomavaega (D-AS) offered an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute to authorize NOAA to partner with other 
Federal agencies in emergency response situations, to clarify 
the responsibilities of the Federal members of the Coral Reef 
Task Force, to authorize the Department of the Interior to 
participate in coral reef conservation, and to make several 
other technical and clarifying changes. The substitute 
amendment was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was 
then forwarded to the Full Committee by voice vote.
    On June 28, 2007, the Natural Resources Committee 
considered the bill. Mr. Faleomavaega (D-AS) offered an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute that made the following 
changes: revised the definitions of ``coral reef'' and 
``conservation'' to better capture all ecological components 
and functions; authorized the Secretary of Commerce to recover 
costs for damages to corals and corals reefs in U.S. waters; 
amended the purposes of the Act and national program to 
encourage marine research at local academic institutions of all 
Task Force member states, territories, and Freely Associated 
States; granted the Secretary of the Interior authority over 
coral reef resources within the Interior Department's 
jurisdiction, and to acknowledged the importance of addressing 
and mitigating impacts of climate change on coral reefs. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was 
then ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by voice vote.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 cites this Act as the ``Coral Reef Conservation 
Amendments Act of 2007''.

Section 2. Expansion of Coral Reef Conservation Program

    Section 2 revises the Coral Reef Conservation Program 
established by Section 204 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act 
of 2000 to ensure diversity in projects funded by the program. 
It also expands the criteria used to review proposal projects 
to ensure approved projects minimize the likelihood of vessel 
impacts to reefs and also promote and support community-based 
planning and management initiatives for coral reefs.

Section 3. Emergency response

    Section 3 expands the authorities of the NOAA Administrator 
by providing authority to take actions necessary to address 
emergency situations affecting coral reefs including vessel 
impacts and unforeseen or disaster-related circumstances. These 
actions may include, but are not limited to, vessel removals 
and emergency stabilization of a vessel or impacted coral reef. 
Additionally, this section authorizes other Federal agencies to 
assist the NOAA Administrator in emergency response activities 
and to receive reimbursement for services rendered. Finally, 
this section expands the authority for enforcement and recovery 
of costs for natural resource damages under the National Marine 
Sanctuaries Act to apply to the Secretaries of Commerce and the 
Interior for corals and coral reefs that lie in waters under 
U.S. jurisdiction but outside of the boundaries of existing 
marine sanctuaries, with state or territorial consent for coral 
reef damages that occur in state or territorial waters, and 
consistent with international law.

Section 4. National program

    Section 4 expands the purposes of the Act and the goals and 
objectives of the national coral reef program to incorporate 
great emphasis on the importance of coral resources to local 
communities, to recognize the role local academic institutions 
play in facilitating coral reef conservation, management and 
research activities, and to recognize the threat of climate 
change to coral reef resources.

Section 5. Report to Congress

    Section 5 replaces the existing requirement in the Coral 
Reef Conservation Act of 2000 for two separate reports to 
Congress on the Conservation Grant Program and National 
Program. Instead, the Administrator is required to submit to 
Congress once every three years, commencing no later than March 
1, 2010, a report describing all activities undertaken to 
implement the national coral reef action strategy.

Section 6. Fund; grants; grounding inventory; coordination

    Section 6 expands the role of the private organization that 
manages the Coral Reef Conservation Fund to clarify that this 
organization should encourage public-private partnerships 
consistent with the Act, and solicit non-Federal funding and 
in-kind services from the private sector to support emergency 
response activities. This section also amends the Act by 
redesignating sections 209 and 210 of the Act as sections 213 
and 214 and by inserting four new sections to the Act.
    Section 209 authorizes a community-based grant program to 
support local community efforts to prepare and implement plans 
supporting increased protection of high priority coral reef 
areas. Section 210 directs NOAA to establish and maintain a 
vessel grounding inventory for all incidents involving coral 
reefs, including locations, vessel ownership information, 
estimates and costs for removal, mitigation and restoration 
activities, and recommendations to prevent future groundings. 
NOAA is also directed to identify all reef areas with a high 
incidence rate of vessel impacts.
    Section 211 directs NOAA to coordinate and collaborate with 
other federal agencies and state and insular area governments 
to implement the national coral reef action strategy, including 
regional and local strategies to address multiple threats to 
coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems. Section 212 codifies the 
existing United States Coral Reef Task Force created in 2000 by 
President William J. Clinton pursuant to Executive Order 13089.

Section 7. Amendments relating to the Department of the Interior 
        program

    Section 7 recognizes the Secretary of the Interior's 
authorities over coral reef resources under the management 
jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. This section 
would amend the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Fish 
and Wildlife Act of 1956, and the Fish and Wildlife Improvement 
Act of 1978 to clarify that coral reefs are included as fish 
and wildlife resources covered by these authorities. In 
addition, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to 
provide technical and financial assistance to coastal States 
and territories for coral reef conservation.

Section 8. Clarification of definitions

    Section 8 makes technical and clarifying revisions to the 
definitions of ``conservation,'' ``coral,'' and ``coral reef'' 
within the original Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 to 
better capture the biological and ecological elements of coral 
reefs and the full range of activities that comprise 
conservation. This section also revises the definition of 
``Secretary'' to include the Secretary of the Interior as the 
term is used in sections 203, 206(e) and 209 of the Act as 
amended, for any coral reef that is located within the National 
Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park System, or the waters 
surrounding Wake Island under the jurisdiction of the Secretary 
of the Interior.

Section 9. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 9 authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to receive 
$30,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, increasing incrementally each 
year to $35,000,000 for each of Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012 to 
implement the Act. This section authorizes the NOAA 
Administration to receive $8 million for fiscal years 2008-2012 
for community-based planning grants. The Secretary of the 
Interior is authorized to receive $5 million per year for 
Fiscal Years 2008-2012 to implement the law. This section 
increases the limit of what may be spent on program 
administration and overhead to the lesser of $2,000,000 or 10 
percent of the amounts appropriated under this section.

Section 10. Funding for marine facilities, coral reef research, and 
        coral reef institutes

    Section 10 authorizes $1,000,000 to be appropriated to the 
Secretary of Commerce to support research conducted at the 
American Samoa Community College, and an additional $1 million 
for coral reef research conducted at the University of Guam. In 
addition, this section encourages NOAA to support existing and 
new coral reef institutes to build capacity for resource 
management, facilitate interdisciplinary research, conduct 
public education regarding coral reef ecosystems to increase 
public awareness, and to advance the purposes of the Act.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants Congress the authority 
to enact this bill.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to reauthorize the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.).
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 1205--Coral Reef Conservation Amendments Act of 2007

    Summary: H.R. 1205 would authorize the appropriation of 
$201 million over the 2008-2012 period to the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the 
Interior (DOI) for coral reef conservation programs and 
research. Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that carrying out those activities would cost $25 
million in 2008 and $181 million over the 2008-2012 period. 
(The remaining $20 million would be spent after 2012.) Enacting 
H.R. 1205 would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    This bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). H.R. 1205 would 
impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, by making 
it unlawful for any person to destroy, cause the loss of, or 
injure any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of 
the United States. Entities that damage coral reefs would be 
liable to pay for any vessel removal and reef restoration 
costs. Based on information from NOAA, CBO estimates that the 
direct cost of the mandate would fall below the annual 
threshold established by UMRA for private-sector mandates ($131 
million in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1205 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2008    2009    2010    2011    2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation
 Program:
    Authorization Level.........      30      32      34      35      35
    Estimated Outlays...........      19      27      32      34      35
DOI Coral Reef Conservation
 Program:
    Authorization Level.........       5       5       5       5       5
    Estimated Outlays...........       4       5       5       5       5
Community Planning and Coral
 Reef Research Grants:
    Authorization Level.........       2       2       2       2       2
    Estimated Outlays...........       2       2       2       2       2
    Total Changes:
        Authorization Level.....      37      39      41      42      42
        Estimated Outlays.......      25      34      39      41      42
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1205 will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2008 and 
that the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
NOAA and DOI conservation programs.
    H.R. 1205 would authorize the appropriation of $201 million 
over the 2008-2012 period for coral reef conservation 
activities and grants. The authorizations include between $30 
million and $35 million annually for NOAA's current programs 
and $5 million annually for new DOI conservation programs. (By 
comparison, NOAA received an appropriation of around $26 
million in 2007 for the coral reef conservation program. The 
Department of the Interior, primarily the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, also received appropriations of several 
million dollars for coral reef programs in 2007, but under 
other statutes.)
    The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $8 
million over the 2008-2012 period for NOAA's community planning 
grants to states and $1 million for each of two universities in 
the South Pacific for coral reef research. CBO assumes that 
those authorizations (totaling $10 million) would be 
appropriated and spent roughly evenly over the five-year 
period.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1205 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA. State, local, and tribal 
governments could benefit from grants authorized by the bill; 
any costs they incur to comply with grant requirements would be 
incurred voluntarily.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 1205 would 
impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, by making 
it unlawful for any person to destroy, cause the loss of, or 
injure any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of 
the United States. In addition, the bill would allow the 
government to start making responsible parties liable for the 
restoration and response costs. Currently, only those coral 
reefs protected under separate legal authorities, such as 
corals located within national marine sanctuaries, receive such 
protection. Based on information from NOAA, CBO estimates that 
the direct cost of the mandate would fall below the annual 
threshold established by UMRA for private-sector mandates ($131 
million in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex; Impact on the 
Private Sector: Justin Hall.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 1205 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT OF 2000

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 202. PURPOSES.

  The purposes of this title are--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(3) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to 
        such ecosystems;]
          (3) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to 
        such ecosystems including large-scale threats related 
        to climate change, to benefit local communities and the 
        Nation, and to the extent practicable support and 
        enhance coral reef research capabilities at local 
        academic institutions;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (5) to provide financial resources for those programs 
        and projects; [and]
          (6) to establish a formal mechanism for collecting 
        and allocating monetary donations from the private 
        sector to be used for coral reef conservation 
        projects[.]; and
          (7) to recognize the benefits of healthy coral reefs 
        to island and coastal communities and to encourage 
        Federal action to ensure, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, the continued availability of those 
        benefits.

SEC. 203. NATIONAL CORAL REEF ACTION STRATEGY.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Goals and Objectives.--The action strategy shall include 
a statement of goals and objectives as well as an 
implementation plan, including a description of the funds 
obligated each fiscal year to advance coral reef conservation. 
The action strategy and implementation plan shall include 
discussion of--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(8) conservation, including how the use of marine 
        protected areas to serve as replenishment zones will be 
        developed consistent with local practices and 
        traditions.]
          (8) conservation, including the consideration of 
        island and local traditions and practices.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 204. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION PROGRAM.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) [Geographic and Biological] Project Diversity.--The 
Administrator shall ensure that funding for grants awarded 
under subsection (b) during a fiscal year are distributed in 
the following manner:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(3) Remaining funds shall be awarded for projects 
        that address emerging priorities or threats, including 
        international priorities or threats, identified by the 
        Administrator. When identifying emerging threats or 
        priorities, the Administrator may consult with the 
        Coral Reef Task Force.]
          (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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Criteria for Approval.--The Administrator may not approve 
a project proposal under this section unless the project is 
consistent with the coral reef action strategy under section 
203 and will enhance the conservation of coral reefs by--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (9) developing and implementing cost-effective 
        methods to restore degraded coral reef ecosystems; [or]
          (10) promoting activities designed to minimize the 
        likelihood of vessel impacts on coral reefs, 
        particularly those areas identified under 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 ecosystems.
          [(10) promoting ecologically sound navigation and 
        anchorages near coral reefs.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (k) Multiyear Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator may 
enter into multiyear cooperative agreements with the heads of 
other Federal agencies, States, territories, other freely 
associated States, local governments, academic institutions, 
and non-governmental organizations to carry out the activities 
of the national coral reef action strategy developed under 
section 203 and to implement regional strategies developed 
pursuant to section 211.

SEC. 205. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION FUND.

  (a) Fund.--The Administrator may enter into an agreement with 
a nonprofit organization that promotes coral reef conservation 
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 Act and are consistent with the 
national coral reef action strategy under section 203.] 
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.
  (b) Authorization To Solicit Donations.--Pursuant to an 
agreement entered into under subsection (a) of this section, an 
organization may accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, 
and use any gift to further the purposes of this title. Any 
moneys received as a gift shall be deposited and maintained in 
the Fund established by the organization under subsection (a). 
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 
areas identified in section 210(b)(2).
  (c) Review of Performance.--The Administrator shall conduct a 
continuing review of [the grant program] any grant program or 
emergency response action 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 and the 
national coral reef action strategy under section 203.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 206. 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 
circumstances pertaining to coral reefs or coral reef 
ecosystems.]

SEC. 206. EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIONS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may undertake or authorize 
action necessary--
          (1) to minimize the destruction or loss of, or injury 
        to, a coral reef from--
                  (A) vessel impacts, derelict fishing gear, 
                vessel anchors, and anchor chains; and
                  (B) from unforeseen or disaster-related 
                circumstances; and
          (2) to stabilize, repair, recover, or restore such 
        coral reef.
  (b) Vessel Removal; Restabilization.--Action authorized by 
subsection (a) includes vessel removal and emergency 
restabilization of the vessel or 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 government 
        agencies as appropriate, including--
                  (A) the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, 
                and the Department of the Interior; and
                  (B) agencies of States and territories of the 
                United States; and
          (2) leverage resources of other agencies.
  (d) Emergency Response Assistance by Other Federal 
Agencies.--
          (1) In general.--The head of any other Federal agency 
        may assist the Administrator in emergency response 
        actions under this section, using funds available for 
        operations of the agency concerned.
          (2) Reimbursement.--The Administrator, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations, may reimburse a Federal 
        agency for assistance provided under paragraph (1).
  (e) Liability for Costs and Damages to Coral Reefs.--
          (1) Treatment of coral reefs under national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--For purposes of the provisions set 
        forth in paragraph (2), and subject to paragraph (3), 
        each of the terms ``sanctuary resources'', 
        ``resource'', ``sanctuary resource managed under law or 
        regulations for that sanctuary,'' ``national marine 
        sanctuary'', ``sanctuary resources of the national 
        marine sanctuary'', and ``sanctuary resources of other 
        national marine sanctuaries'' is deemed to include any 
        coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States or any State, without regard to whether 
        such coral reef is located in a national marine 
        sanctuary.
          (2) Applicable provisions of national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--The provisions referred to in 
        paragraph (1) are the following provisions of the 
        National Marine Sanctuaries Act:
                  (A) Paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 302 (16 
                U.S.C. 1432).
                  (B) Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of 
                section 306 (16 U.S.C. 1436).
                  (C) Section 307 (16 U.S.C. 1437).
                  (D) Section 312 (16 U.S.C. 1443).
          (3) State consent required.--
                  (A) In general.--This subsection shall not 
                apply to any coral reef that is subject to the 
                jurisdiction of a State unless the Governor of 
                that State notifies the Secretary that the 
                State consents to that application.
                  (B) Revocation of consent.--The governor of a 
                State may revoke consent under subparagraph (A) 
                by notifying the Secretary of such revocation.
          (4) Consistency with international law and 
        treaties.--Any action taken under the authority of this 
        subsection must be consistent with otherwise applicable 
        international law and treaties.
          (5) Actions authorized with respect to vessels.--
        Actions authorized under this subsection include vessel 
        removal, and emergency re-stabilization of a vessel and 
        any coral reef that is impacted by a vessel.
          (6) Regulations.--The Secretary may issue regulations 
        necessary to implement this subsection.

SEC. 207. NATIONAL PROGRAM.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Authorized Activities.--Activities authorized under 
subsection (a) include--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) providing assistance to States in removing 
        abandoned fishing gear, marine debris, and abandoned 
        vessels from coral reefs to conserve living marine 
        resources; [and]
          (4) [cooperative conservation] cooperative research, 
        conservation, and management of coral reefs and coral 
        reef ecosystems with local, regional, or international 
        programs and [partners.] partners, including academic 
        institutions located in those States, territories, and 
        freely associated States referred to in section 212; 
        and
          (5) activities designed to minimize the likelihood of 
        vessel impacts or other physical damage to coral reefs, 
        including those areas identified in section 210(b).

[SEC. 208. EFFECTIVENESS REPORTS.

  [(a) Grant Program.--Not later than 3 years after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, 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 that documents the effectiveness of 
the grant program under section 204 in meeting the purposes of 
this title. The report shall include a State-by-State summary 
of Federal and non-Federal contributions toward the costs of 
each project.
  [(b) National Program.--Not later than 2 years after the date 
on which the Administrator publishes the national coral reef 
strategy under section 203 and every 2 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 that strategy, under 
section 203, including a description of the funds obligated 
each fiscal year to advance coral reef conservation.]

SEC. 208. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

  Not later than March 1, 2010, and every 3 years thereafter, 
the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Natural 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, United States 
        territories, freely associated States, and non-
        governmental partner organizations to prevent or 
        address overharvesting, coastal runoff, or other 
        anthropogenic impacts on coral reef ecosystems, 
        including projects undertaken with the Department of 
        the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, and the 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, including actions taken to address 
        large-scale threats to coral reef ecosystems related to 
        climate change.

SEC. 209. COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING GRANTS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may make grants to 
entities that are eligible to receive 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 where applicable watershed-based or 
        ecosystem-based approaches;
          (4) provide for coordination with Federal and State 
        experts and managers;
          (5) build upon local approaches or models, including 
        traditional or island-based resource management 
        concepts; and
          (6) complement local action strategies or regional 
        plans for coral reef conservation.
  (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''.

SEC. 210. VESSEL GROUNDING INVENTORY.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator, in coordination with 
other Federal agencies, may maintain an inventory of all vessel 
grounding incidents involving coral reefs, 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 all coral reef areas 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.

SEC. 211. REGIONAL COORDINATION.

  The Administrator shall work in coordination and 
collaboration with other Federal agencies, States, and United 
States territorial governments to implement the national coral 
reef action strategy 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, overharvesting, and factors attributed to 
climate change.

SEC. 212. UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE.

  (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the United 
States Coral Reef Task Force.
  (b) Goal.--The goal of the Task Force shall be to lead, 
coordinate, and strengthen Federal Government actions to better 
preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems.
  (c) Duties.--The duties of the Task Force shall be--
          (1) to coordinate, in cooperation with State, 
        territory, freely associated State, commonwealth, and 
        local government partners, academic, and 
        nongovernmental partners if appropriate, activities 
        regarding the mapping, monitoring, research, 
        conservation, mitigation, restoration of coral reefs 
        and coral reef ecosystems;
          (2) to monitor and advise regarding implementation of 
        the policy and Federal agency responsibilities set 
        forth in Executive Order 13089 and the national coral 
        reef action strategy developed under section 203; and
          (3) to work with the Secretary of State and the 
        Administrator of the Agency for International 
        Development, and in coordination with the other members 
        of the Task Force, to--
                  (A) assess the United States role in 
                international trade and protection of coral 
                species; and
                  (B) encourage implementation of appropriate 
                strategies and actions to promote conservation 
                and sustainable use of coral reef resources 
                worldwide.
  (d) Membership, Generally.--The Task Force shall be comprised 
of--
          (1) the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, and the Secretary of the Interior, who 
        shall be co-chairs of the Task Force;
          (2) the Administrator of the Agency of International 
        Development;
          (3) the Secretary of Agriculture;
          (4) the Secretary of Defense;
          (5) the Secretary of the Army, acting through the 
        Corps of Engineers;
          (6) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
          (7) the Attorney General;
          (8) the Secretary of State;
          (9) the Secretary of Transportation;
          (10) the Administrator of the Environmental 
        Protection Agency;
          (11) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics 
        and Space Administration;
          (12) the Director of the National Science Foundation;
          (13) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
        Islands;
          (14) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
          (15) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the State of Florida;
          (16) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the State of Hawaii;
          (17) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the Territory of Guam;
          (18) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the Territory of American Samoa; and
          (19) the Governor, or a representative of the 
        Governor, of the Virgin Islands.
  (e) Nonvoting Members.--The President, or a representative of 
the President, of each of the Freely Associated States of the 
Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall 
Islands, and the Republic of Palau may appoint a nonvoting 
member of the Task Force.
  (f) Responsibilities of Federal Agency Members.--
          (1) In general.--The Federal agency members of the 
        Task Force shall--
                  (A) identify the actions of their agencies 
                that may affect coral reef ecosystems;
                  (B) utilize the programs and authorities of 
                their agencies to protect and enhance the 
                conditions of such ecosystems; and
                  (C) assist in the implementation of the 
                National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, 
                the national coral reef action strategy 
                developed under section 203, the local action 
                strategies, and any other coordinated efforts 
                approved by the Task Force.
          (2) Co-chairs.--In addition to their responsibilities 
        under paragraph (1), the co-chairs of the Task Force 
        shall administer performance of the functions of the 
        Task Force and facilitate the coordination of the 
        Federal agency members of the Task Force.
  (g) Working Groups.--
          (1) In general.--The co-chairs of the Task Force may 
        establish working groups as necessary to meet the goals 
        and duties of this Act. The Task Force may request the 
        co-chairs to establish such a working group.
          (2) Participation by nongovernmental organizations.--
        The co-chairs may allow a nongovernmental organization 
        or academic institution to participate in such a 
        working group.
  (h) FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) 
shall not apply to the Task Force.

SEC. [209.] 213. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  [(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary to carry out this title $16,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, which may remain 
available until expended.]
  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Commerce to carry out this title $30,000,000 
for fiscal year 2008, $32,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, 
$34,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and $35,000,000 for fiscal 
years 2011 and 2012.
  (b) Administration.--Of the amounts appropriated under 
subsection (a), not more than the lesser of [$1,000,000] 
$2,000,000 or 10 percent of the amounts appropriated, may be 
used for program administration or for overhead costs incurred 
by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the 
Department of Commerce and assessed as an administrative 
charge.
  [(c) Coral Reef Conservation Program.--From the amounts 
appropriated under subsection (a), there shall be made 
available to the Secretary $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for coral reef conservation 
activities under section 204.
  [(d) National Coral Reef Activities.--From the amounts 
appropriated under subsection (a), there shall be made 
available to the Secretary $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for activities under section 207.]
  (c) Community-Based Planning Grants.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out section 209, 
$8,000,000 for fiscal years 2008 through 2012, to remain 
available until expended.
  (d) Department of the Interior.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this 
title $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

SEC. [210.] 214. DEFINITIONS.

  In this title:
          (1) * * *
          [(2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means 
        the use of methods and procedures necessary to preserve 
        or sustain corals and associated species as diverse, 
        viable, and self-perpetuating coral reef ecosystems, 
        including all activities associated with resource 
        management, such as assessment, conservation, 
        protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
        management of habitat; mapping; 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; community outreach and education; and that 
        promote safe and ecologically sound navigation.
          [(3) 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.
          [(4) Coral reef.--The term ``coral reef'' means any 
        reefs or shoals composed primarily of corals.]
          (2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means 
        the use of methods and procedures that are necessary to 
        preserve or sustain coral reefs and associated species 
        as diverse, viable, and self-perpetuating coral reef 
        ecosystems, including--
                  (A) all activities associated with resource 
                management, such as assessment, conservation, 
                protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
                management of habitat;
                  (B) mapping;
                  (C) monitoring of coral reef ecosystems;
                  (D) assistance in the development of 
                management strategies for marine protected area 
                or networks thereof 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.);
                  (E) law enforcement;
                  (F) conflict resolution initiatives;
                  (G) community outreach and education; and
                  (H) activities that promote safe and 
                ecologically sound navigation.
          (3) 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), Alcyonacea (soft 
                corals), and Helioporacea (blue coral), of the 
                class Anthozoa; and
                  (B) all species of the families Milleporidae 
                (fire corals) and Stylasteridae (stylasterid 
                hydrocorals), of the class Hydrozoa.
          (4) Coral reef.--The term ``coral reef'' means a 
        limestone structure composed in whole or in part of 
        living zooxanthellate stony corals (Class Anthozoa, 
        Order Scleractinia), their skeletal remains, or both.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of Commerce.]
          (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary''--
                  (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
                means the Secretary of Commerce; and
                  (B) in sections 203, 206(e), and 209, means--
                          (i) the Secretary of the Interior, 
                        with respect to any coral reef or 
                        component thereof that is located in--
                                  (I) the National Wildlife 
                                Refuge System;
                                  (II) the National Park 
                                System; or
                                  (III) the waters surrounding 
                                Wake Island under the 
                                jurisdiction of the Secretary 
                                of the Interior, as set forth 
                                in Executive Order 11048 (27 
                                Fed. Reg. 8851), dated 
                                September 4, 1962; or
                          (ii) the Secretary of Commerce, with 
                        respect to any other coral reef or 
                        component thereof.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


          SECTION 8 OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE COORDINATION ACT

  Sec. 8. The terms ``wildlife'' and ``wildlife resources'' as 
used herein include birds, fishes, mammals, and all other 
classes of wild animals and all types of aquatic and land 
vegetation upon which wildlife is dependent, including coral 
reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in section 214 of the 
Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000).

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    The 1998 Executive Order on Coral Reef Protection (E.O. 
13089) represented a formal response to the precarious state of 
U.S. coral reef resources. It established the U.S. Coral Reef 
Task Force and required agencies to examine their actions 
regarding coral reefs. With great foresight, in that same year, 
Congress sought to develop programs that attended to local/
regional needs with an emphasis on good science being 
translated into practical management: thus through the 
Commerce, Justice, State appropriation bill, Congress provided 
funding for the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative (HCRI), National 
Coral Reef Institute (NCRI), and the Caribbean Coral Reef 
Institute (CCRI).
    Since 1998 the three institutes have been provided funding 
by Congress through annual appropriations contained in the CJS 
bill. The FY 2006 conference report provided $1.5 million for 
HCRI, $1 million for NCRI, and $500 thousand for CCRI. The 
institutes operate through 3-year cooperative agreements with 
NOAA, through CSCOR. These agreements and the proposed research 
activities they contain, are subject to rigorous, external 
peer-review. However, funding is provided only on an annual 
basis, which makes continuity problematic and predictability 
and long-term planning difficult to impossible. In FY07, 
specific funding for the institutes was not appropriated by 
Congress. The Institutes were forced to interrupt existing 
cooperative agreements and programmatic activities, submit for 
NOAA funds under a Broad Area Announcement, and adapt to a 40% 
reduction in expected funding.
    From the beginning, the three institutes have been linked, 
from their establishment by Congress, to their common approach 
of sponsoring management-driven research, tapping the complete 
research potential of agencies and academia, to their emphasis 
on, and flexibility to, tackle local/regional problems. The 
specializations, knowledge, and technologies of each program 
are routinely shared, creating a whole that is greater than the 
sum of the individual programs alone.
    Collectively, these institutes represent not only those 
areas of the United States that have the primary amount of 
coral reef resources for the nation, but also those areas where 
coral reefs are under the most severe anthropogenic threats. In 
this regard, no region is seen as having priority over another. 
While each institute addresses complementary local programs and 
priorities that constitute the ``on the ground'' realities 
facing management agencies, and that these efforts are tailored 
for the socio-economic and governance systems within each area, 
all of these efforts fall within a larger context of shared 
local and national priorities. As such, the Institutes also 
conduct coordinated activities both on their own initiative and 
under CSCOR direction.
    In short, the institutes are separate to better tailor 
their programs to their local needs and conditions, but 
function often as a unit at higher levels, especially with 
their relationship to NOAA and their efforts to inform Congress 
of the status of U.S. coral reefs, with emphasis on the local 
perspective. Their individual and combined output has enhanced 
national capacity and productivity. By concentrating on 
important and unique management and policy challenges, 
scientific contributions are made that better allow decisions 
on both local and national scales.
    The three institutes work with a common goal of enhancing 
management effectiveness through outstanding science activities 
that include management-driven research, outreach, education, 
and conservation. On the one hand, tackling the problems facing 
coral reefs requires local action and efforts that must be 
flexible enough to attend to the key priorities in each area. 
These are likely to be different, based on real biological 
differences as well as differences in the sources and levels of 
anthropogenic stress and the socio-economic and governance 
regimes within which management must operate. Key problems and 
program developments are likely to differ among areas. For 
example, HCRI faces an invasion of alien species and over 
growing reefs and excels at education and outreach; NCRI 
addresses problems resulting from high human populations 
adjacent to reefs and excels at technological development, 
focusing on assessment, monitoring, and restoration research; 
and CCRI confronts an onslaught of coral diseases and has 
excelled in addressing the human dimension and governance. On 
the other hand, all institutes deal with these threats and 
approaches in varying degrees, as well as with additional 
problems common to all regions. By learning from the 
experiences of the other programs, each institute benefits from 
the expertise developed across all institutes.
    Together the three institutes create a synergy of 
productivity that results from collaboration, cooperation, and 
shared common goals. To promote and sustain this synergy, 
institute directors meet annually with CSCOR to share 
experiences, suggest avenues toward problem solving, and 
develop common strategies for promoting science-based 
management. Additionally, the institutes initiate joint 
activities to communicate their research successes and 
management products at national forums.
    While the Act authorizes support for the Coral Reef 
Institutes, subject to the availability of appropriations, 
guaranteed funding would duly recognize the important and vital 
role the institutes have grown to fill within the U.S. coral 
reef program. Guaranteed appropriations will change the way the 
three institutes are funded by providing a more predictable and 
secure mechanism. Properly authorized, the institutes will 
operate within the annual appropriations process and not via 
congressionally directed funding. A secure mechanism toward 
funding would allow the institutes to engage in a level of 
long-term planning and program development not possible under 
current funding mechanisms. It would also avoid the kind of 
program disruption caused by the FY07 funding process.
    Importantly, authorization will afford NOAA greater 
participation in long-term planning, existing cooperative work, 
and goal-setting that should enhance organization and 
ultimately better understanding and stewardship of the nation's 
precious coral reef resources.
                                                      Luis Fortuno.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    The Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (Act) has been a 
very popular and beneficial statute which: required the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to 
develop a national coral reef conservation strategy; created a 
coral reef conservation program within the Federal government 
through which the Federal government could provide much needed 
grants for on-the-ground local coral reef conservation 
projects; created a coral reef conservation fund to allow 
outside organizations to collect funds in addition to those 
provided through Congressional appropriations; authorized a 
national program to provide mapping, research, and education 
functions; and supported activities of the U.S. Coral Reef Task 
Force which was established by Executive Order.
    These provisions from the original law provided funds for 
local governments to identify threats to coral reefs and to 
identify local priorities through the Local Action Strategies 
as well as other beneficial activities. This Act has proven to 
be both popular and beneficial to coral reefs.
    While the Act's underlying statute is non-controversial, 
new provisions have been suggested to expand the authorities of 
the Federal government--including expansion of the emergency 
assistance provision to allow the Federal government to take 
immediate action to deal with specific threats to coral reefs 
such as examples of ships running aground on coral reefs and 
the ship owners denying responsibility or merely abandoning the 
ship. Again, this is a worthwhile and non-controversial 
suggestion.
    In addition, it was suggested that the Department of the 
Interior (DOI) could provide additional benefits to coral reefs 
if their role were expanded in the statute. Because they have a 
track record with the Insular Areas and their coral reef 
conservation efforts, this also seemed a laudable suggestion. 
In addition, the DOI grant procedure seemed to be able to get 
grant money to the intended recipients faster than NOAA could.
    Concern has been raised that DOI might use this additional 
authority to expand their jurisdiction into marine areas where 
they do not have the expertise or existing authority. NOAA has 
traditionally had the primary expertise and authority for the 
regulation of activities in the marine environment. While 
giving DOI additional authority to enhance coral reef 
conservation is a benefit to coral reefs, this action should 
not be viewed as giving DOI additional authorities in the 
marine environment other than in the limited case of assisting 
in coral reef conservation activities under this statute. DOI 
has argued that they have provided coral reef conservation 
funding through existing authorities so Members do not expect 
this legislation to allow DOI to create new offices or expand 
their bureaucracy due to provisions in this legislation. 
Concern has been raised that this new authority will allow the 
Department of the Interior to create a new bureaucracy when 
they have only requested the ability to fund coral reef 
initiatives that they currently participate in.
    A second concern is that some suggestions for amending the 
existing statute would take a popular grant program and 
authority for NOAA to contribute to coral reef conservation and 
turn it into a regulatory statute with new regulatory 
authorities that could give NOAA huge new powers to regulate 
on-land activities which might have only an indirect effect on 
coral reefs.
    Additional regulatory authorities combined with suggestions 
for vague definitions and/or vague regulatory authorities could 
turn this popular coral reef conservation program into another 
Endangered Species Act complete with train-wrecks for federally 
permitted activities which a court might determine have an 
indirect impact on coral reef conservation or other activities 
which have no direct bearing on coral reef health. It appears 
that some outside groups might be trying to turn this Act into 
a litigation lightning rod and to use coral reef conservation 
as a way of regulating other activities both on land and 
offshore. It has been suggested that there was an attempt to 
use the coral reef ecosystem definition to turn this non-
controversial legislation into a key tool to be used by 
litigious environmental groups to try to litigate against 
indirect human activities that could possibly affect coral 
reefs. If that is the case, Members need to take note. This 
will no longer be a statute that only does good things for 
corals and for those states and territories that have coral 
reefs. It will now be a litigant's dream for going after 
activities far removed from any shoreline. While presumably not 
the intention of the authors of the legislation, this is a very 
possible unintended outcome of innocent-seeming language.
    Finally, language currently in the bill, although well 
intentioned--to give DOI the authority it needs to participate 
in coral reef conservation activities--may also have unintended 
consequences. To allow DOI to use authorities in existing 
statutes to provide additional benefits for coral reef 
conservation is a worthwhile notion; however, to accomplish 
this authorization, drafting assistance was provided which 
expanded the definition of ``wildlife'' in several statutes to 
include coral reefs. The unintended consequences of this 
expansion of the term ``wildlife'' are hard to determine at 
this point. Care should be taken to minimize these unintended 
consequences.
    Again, this Act has been a very popular program that 
provided grants to further coral reef research, conservation, 
and restoration. Reauthorization of this Act with the addition 
of some specific additions to address emergency and 
unanticipated impacts to coral reefs such as ship strikes are 
to be applauded. The legislation adopted by the Committee was 
adopted by voice vote, but only after some of the concerns 
about vague definitions--especially that of ``coral reef 
ecosystem'' were negotiated. Concerns remain on the unintended 
consequences of well intentioned provisions and concerns also 
remain that changes in the definitions included in the reported 
bill may be changed prior to Floor action. Expansion of these 
definitions could turn a very popular Act into a regulatory and 
litigation nightmare which will not help coral reef 
conservation efforts.
                                                   Henry Brown, Jr.