WASHINGTON DC –Members of the world’s leading environmental organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, today hailed the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for approving S. 1580, the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act (CRCRA), and in particular including a new program with dedicated funding for international coral reef conservation.
In a joint letter sent today, WWF, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Conservation Society expressed their appreciation to Committee Chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Ted Stevens (R-AL) for their leadership in gaining committee approval for the bill, which protects corals reefs in the U.S. and around the world.
The CRCA is a significant tool in conserving coral reefs, which are deteriorating at alarming rates around the world. Coral reefs are often referred to as the “rainforests of the sea” because they are vital to the health of oceans and critical to the continued existence of the world’s most important fisheries.
“With a new program on international coral reef conservation, this legislation will help establish the US as a clear leader globally, creating invaluable synergies with many efforts currently underway to improve coral reef conservation around the globe, including in the Coral Triangle Initiative recently endorsed by leaders at the summit for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation,” said WWF Government Relations Vice President Jason Patlis. “This is more than just a grants program. It requires the government to develop an overarching strategy to protect coral reefs overseas to ensure that funding is well spent. We applaud Chairman Inouye and Ranking Member Stevens for their support of this critically important legislation. ”