Hawaii & Alaska
Pearl & Hermes Atoll in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo by: James Watt/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

HI - Measure Aims to Ramp Up Federal Response to Coral Reef Disaster

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) introduced in the US House of Representatives his bipartisan Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act on Friday to continue, update and improve our national commitment to save our endangered coral reefs as first set forth in a measure enacted twenty years ago.

French Frigate Shoals is home to abundant wildlife and one of the most significant coral reef systems in the monument. Left: before Hurricane Walaka. (Photo: James Watt/NOAA) Right: after Hurricane Walaka. (Photo: Kailey Pascoe/NOAA).

“In the two decades since the passage of the 2000 Act, the state of our reefs has deteriorated alarmingly and the challenges and opportunities for effective management have evolved,” Case said in a press release.

Case noted that coral reefs are vital natural infrastructure that safeguard coastal and island communities.

Healthy, resilient coral reefs buffer against severe weather, shoreline erosion, and flooding and serve as natural breakwaters for maritime ports and harbors.

“Coral reefs also support countless American jobs in the tourism, hospitality, boating, recreation, and fishing industries,” Case added.

“In particular, coral reefs are integral to commercial and recreational sport fisheries across the United States and in our nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone.”

Case continued: “As coral reefs provide a rich habitat for a variety of marine life, the loss of coral reef ecosystems is having very serious consequences for coastal communities and economies, the health of fish and other marine wildlife, biodiversity and the overall marine environment.”

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