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PRESIDENT CLINTON: WORKING TO PROTECT HAWAII'S RICH CORAL REEFS
President Clinton will today direct the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior to develop a plan to permanently protect the coral reefs of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, which represent nearly 70 percent of the coral reefs in U.S. waters. The Secretaries will develop the plan over the next 90 days with public input and in cooperation with the state of Hawaii.
America's Premier Coral Reefs. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of islands over 1200 miles long located west of the main Hawaiian Islands. They include Nihoa and Necker Islands, French Frigate Shoals, Maro Reef, and Pearl & Hermes Atoll, and are surrounded by some of the most extensive and pristine coral reefs in U.S. waters. The reefs extend from near-shore areas just beneath the ocean surface to a depth of 100 fathoms (600 feet), as much as 100 miles out to sea.
The coral reef ecosystem encompasses more than 11,000 square kilometers and
is home to a diverse and unique assemblage of fish, invertebrates, birds, sea
turtles, marine mammals and other species found nowhere else on Earth. Federally
protected species include the threatened green sea turtle, the endangered leatherback
and hawksbill sea turtles, and the only remaining population of the endangered
Hawaiian monk seal.
The Secretaries' plan will:
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore