Take Action on the Coral Reef Conservation Act!
Coral Reef Legislation Has Reached the U.S. Congress
In July of 2009, the Coral Reef Alliance led a coalition of forty-four marine conservation and stakeholder groups and more than one hundred marine scientists to ask the U.S. Congress to pass important coral reef legislation.
The House responded, and passed corals legislation on Aug 23, 2009.
The Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2009 (S.2859) was introduced by Senator Daniel Inouye [HI] on Dec 9, 2009, and had five cosponsors: John Kerry (MA), George LeMieux (FL), Bill Nelson (FL), John Rockefeller (WV), and Olympia Snowe (ME). It died in committee, but was reintroduced for the 112th Congress, with Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA) replacing Sen. LeMieux. A second House bill (H.R. 738) was introduced with by Del. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam) with 15 cosponsors. Bodallo reintroduced the house bill as H.R. 71 in the 113th congress.
Additional cosponsors are critically needed to make these bills a priority in the 113th Congress.
* Please contact your legislators and ask them to cosponsor this important legislation *
To find your legislators' contact information, click here.
Personal letters to Congress really do make more of an impact! Please take the extra couple of minutes to contact your senators and representatives directly and include in your message who you are and why coral reef protection is important to you.
[Introduce yourself] I am writing to ask you to support and cosponsor a critical piece of legislation: The Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2013 (H.R. 71). Passage of this bill is extremely important for the future of coral reefs-one of the most important and endangered ecosystems in the world-and the bill needs your support to become a priority in the 112th Congress.
Coral reefs are in decline around the world, and those in the United States are no exception. A recent report found that the overall live coral cover for reefs in the Florida Keys has diminished by 50 to 80 percent in the past ten years. Yet coral reefs are the foundation of the tourism industry in the Florida Keys, supporting a $2 billion tourism economy.
Beyond bringing in tourism dollars, coral reefs provide habitat for a quarter of all marine species, and are essential for maintaining important fisheries and protecting coastlines from storm surges. They are also one of the best potential sources of new life-saving pharmaceuticals—more than half of all cancer drug research is now focusing on marine organisms, many of which live only on coral reefs.
Reauthorizing and amending the Coral Reef Conservation Act would enact critical measures to preserve these threatened habitats, including increasing the status of protection for corals in all U.S. waters, supporting community-based approaches to coral reef stewardship, and strengthening U.S. international coral reef conservation efforts. Please cosponsor this legislation and make its passage a priority in the 113th Congress.
[Your name and address]
* If your representative is already a sponsor, please express your thanks for his or her leadership and ask that he or she help to make passage of corals legislation a priority in the 113th Congress.
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Thank you so much for taking action, and please spread the word to your friends.
Your help is very much appreciated!
Photo credit: Reef scene in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, by Dennis Liberson