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Calendar No. 356
111th Congress Report
2d Session 111-173
REAUTHORIZING THE MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION ACT OF 2004, AND FOR OTHER
April 26, 2010.--Ordered to be printed
Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 509]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred a bill (H.R. 509) to reauthorize the Marine Turtle
Conservation Act of 2004, and for other purposes, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
General Statement and Background
Seven species of marine sea turtles currently inhabit the
world's oceans. All require tropical, subtropical and temperate
oceanic beaches for nesting. Six of the seven marine turtle
species--green, hawksbill, Kemp's Ridley, leatherback,
loggerhead and olive ridley--are listed in threatened
categories by the World Conservation Union and listed under the
U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Once abundant, marine turtle populations are a fraction of
historic levels. Marine turtles require many years to reach
sexual maturity (10-40 years), have complex life cycles, depend
on oceanic beaches for nesting, and have specific marine
foraging habitats. As a result, they are very vulnerable to
exploitation and habitat degradation. Major threats to theses
species include legal or illegal over-harvesting of eggs or
meat, predation of eggs by natural predators as well as dogs
and domestic hogs, pollution from coastal development that
disorients hatchlings and nesting females, replacement of beach
habitat with hard structures (e.g., riprap, sea walls, and
revetments), over-fishing in some countries, accidental capture
by trawl, net and long-line commercial fishing, and degradation
or destruction of grass beds and coral reefs.
In response to the decline of marine turtle populations, in
2004 Congress passed and then-President George W. Bush signed
into law the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004 (Public Law
108-266). This law, patterned after other similar laws
authorizing wildlife conservation funds in the Multinational
Species Conservation Fund, authorized $25 million over a five-
year period to support project grants to conserve, protect and
recover marine turtle populations. In Fiscal Year 2008, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded 24 project grants worth
$919,843 under this program, which generated an additional $1.2
million in non-federal matching contributions.
Objectives of the Legislation
The objective of H.R. 509 is to reauthorize the Marine
Turtle Conservation Act of 2004, and for other purposes.
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the
`Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2009.'
Section 2. Amendments to provisions preventing funding of projects in
the United States
Section 2 provides for the expansion of marine turtle
conservation assistance under the Marine Turtle Conservation
Act of 2004 to include the United States and its territories.
Section 3. Limitations on expenditures
Section 3 authorizes an increase in administrative expenses
from $80,000 to $150,000 and limits funds made available for
projects relating to the conservation of marine turtles in the
United States to no more than 20 percent of the Marine Turtle
Conservation fund for any fiscal year.
Section 4. Reauthorization of the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of
Section 4 amends section 7 of the Marine Turtle
Conservation Act of 2004 to reauthorize appropriations to the
Marine Turtle Conservation Fund for fiscal years 2009 through
H.R. 509 was introduced on January 14, 2009 by
Representative Henry E. Brown, Jr. (R-SC). The bill was
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the
Committee to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and
Wildlife. On June 10, 2009, the Subcommittee was discharged
from further consideration of H.R. 509 and the Full Natural
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. An amendment in
the nature of a substitute offered by Rep. Brown to amend the
Act to authorize project grants in the United States; to allow
no more than twenty percent of the funds made available each
year to support grants projects in the United States; and, to
increase the annual allowance for program administration to be
the greater of three percent of the amounts made available or
$150,000 was adopted and the bill, as amended, was ordered
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous
consent. The House of Representatives passed the bill under
suspension of the rules on July 28, 2009 by a vote of 354-72.
On December 10, 2009, the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee met to consider H.R. 509 and ordered the bill
favorably reported without amendment.
On May 5, 2009 the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans
and Wildlife of the House Committee on Natural Resources held a
hearing on H.R. 509. On December 3, 2009, the Water and
Wildlife Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee held a legislative hearing on multiple wildlife
and invasive species bills, including H.R. 509.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to
consider H.R. 509 on December 10, 2009. The bill was ordered
favorably reported by voice.
Regulatory Impact Statement
In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that H.R. 509
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the committee noted that the Congressional
Budget Office has found, ``H.R. 509 contains no
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on
state, local, or tribal governments.''
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
December 15, 2009.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on the Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 509, the Marine
Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2009.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark
Douglas W. Elmendorf.
H.R. 509--Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2009
Summary: H.R. 509 would authorize the appropriation of $5
million for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for the
Department of the Interior to support programs to protect and
conserve marine turtles. The act also would make states
eligible for those funds, which are now available to foreign or
international organizations and other entities involved in
marine turtle conservation (current law authorizes funding of
$5 million annually through fiscal year 2009 for this program).
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 509 would cost $22 million
over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the
authorized amounts. Enacting the legislation would not affect
direct spending or revenues.
H.R. 509 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal
Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated
budgetary impact of H.R. 509 is shown in the following table.
CBO assumes that the amounts authorized by the act will be
appropriated by the start of each fiscal year (except 2010) and
that outlays will follow the historical rate of spending for
those activities. For fiscal year 2010, the Congress
appropriated $2 million for this program, so H.R. 509 would
authorize the appropriation of an additional $3 million for
that year. The costs of this legislation fall within budget
function 300 (natural resources and environment).
By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010-2014
CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Authorization Level......................................... 3 5 5 5 5 23
Estimated Outlays........................................... 1 3 7 6 5 22
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 509
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or
tribal governments. Any costs to state and tribal governments
from receiving grants under this act would be incurred
voluntarily as a condition of receiving federal assistance.
Previous CBO estimate: On June 17, 2009, CBO transmitted a
cost estimate for H.R. 509 as ordered reported by the House
Committee on Natural Resources on June 10, 2009. The two pieces
of legislation are identical, but we estimated that
implementing the earlier version of H.R. 509 would cost $24
million over the 2010-2014 period because funding for 2010 had
not yet been provided.
Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Mark Grabowicz; Impact
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell;
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, 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
* * * * * * *
MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION
* * * * * * *
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
(a) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
(1) * * *
* * * * * * *
(b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to assist in the
conservation of marine turtles and the nesting habitats of
marine turtles [in foreign countries] by supporting and
providing financial resources for projects to conserve the
nesting habitats, conserve marine turtles in those habitats,
and address other threats to the survival of marine turtles.
* * * * * * *
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) CITES.--The term ``CITES'' means the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora (27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249).
(2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means
the use of all methods and procedures necessary to
protect nesting habitats of marine turtles [in foreign
countries] and of marine turtles in those habitats,
(A) protection, restoration, and management
of nesting habitats;
(B) onsite research and monitoring of nesting
populations, nesting habitats, annual
reproduction, and species population trends;
(C) assistance in the development,
implementation, and improvement of national and
regional management plans for nesting habitat
(D) enforcement and implementation of CITES
and laws [of foreign countries] to--
* * * * * * *
(6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the
Secretary of the Interior.
(7) State.--The term `State' means each of the
several States of the United States, the District of
Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, any other territory or
possession of the United States, and any Indian tribe.
* * * * * * *
SEC. 4. MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE.
(a) In General.--Subject to the availability of funds and in
consultation with other Federal officials, the Secretary shall
use amounts in the Fund to provide financial assistance for
projects for the conservation of marine turtles for which
project proposals are approved by the Secretary in accordance
with this section.
(b) Project Proposals.--
(1) Eligible applicants.--A proposal for a project
for the conservation of marine turtles may be submitted
to the Secretary by--
(A) any wildlife management authority of a
State or foreign country that has within its
boundaries marine turtle nesting habitat if the
activities of the authority directly or
indirectly affect marine turtle conservation;
* * * * * * *
(d) Criteria for Approval.--The Secretary may approve a
project proposal under this section if the project will help
recover and sustain viable populations of marine turtles in the
wild by assisting efforts [in foreign countries] to implement
marine turtle conservation programs.
SEC. 5. MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION FUND.
(a) Establishment.--* * *
* * * * * * *
(b) Expenditures From Fund.--
(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), on request
by the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall
transfer from the Fund to the Secretary, without
further appropriation, such amounts as the Secretary
determines are necessary to carry out section 4.
(2) Administrative expenses.--Of the amounts in the
account available for each fiscal year, the Secretary
may expend not more than 3 percent, or up to [$80,000]
$150,000, whichever is greater,
(3) Limitation on projects in the united states.--Not
more than 20 percent of the amounts made available from
the Fund for any fiscal year may be used for projects
relating to the conservation of marine turtles in the
* * * * * * *
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000
for [each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009] each of fiscal
years 2009 through 2014.
* * * * * * *