Statement by the President: Signing of the "Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act of 2000" (11/13/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)

For Immediate Release                           November 13, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1752, the "Coastal Barrier
Resources Reauthorization Act of 2000."  This Act reauthorizes and amends
the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), which protects lives, property,
and key coastal barrier habitat by prohibiting Federal subsidies for
development and disaster relief on many of our Nation's coastal barriers.

     First enacted in 1982, CBRA established the Coastal Barrier Resources
System (CBRS), which includes undeveloped coastal barrier habitats along
the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and the
Virgin Islands.  Last year, these coastal barriers were renamed the John H.
Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System in honor of the late Senator, who
authored the original CBRA and this reauthorizing legislation and
championed numerous other environmental laws throughout his distinguished
career of public service.  Today, CBRA protects over 3 million acres of
coastal barrier habitat.

     Coastal barriers provide a multitude of services that are foundations
of a strong economy and healthy environment.  For example, coastal barriers
often help provide the conditions necessary to support productive and
lucrative fisheries.  They also provide essential habitat for threatened
and endangered species and protect the mainland from coastal storms,
bearing the full force of storm surge and hurricane-level winds and
shielding the mainland from the severest storm conditions.  By limiting
Federal subsidies such as flood insurance from units in the System, CBRA
discourages development, keeping lives out of harm's way, protecting fish
and wildlife habitat, and reducing wasteful expenditures of taxpayer

     This Act contains a number of amendments that will improve the CBRS
and implementation of the CBRA.  One provision allows the voluntary
addition of lands to the System, which could increase the amount of coastal
barrier habitat protected by CBRA.  The Act also codifies a set of mapping
guidelines, which will help the public understand the criteria used to
delineate parts of the System.  Most significantly, this Act recognizes the
value that digital mapping techniques can add to coastal protection and
authorizes a digital mapping pilot program that will help integrate the
CBRA with Federal, State, and local government planning tools.  Ultimately,
I believe this technology will better serve the public and protect natural

     Naming the System after Senator Chafee was a fitting tribute to a man
who worked so hard, and so successfully, to find common ground in the
struggle to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.
Senator Chafee was very proud of CBRA, often stating his support during
hearings of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which he
chaired.  Given the laudable goals and achievements of CBRA, I am pleased
that the Congress has reauthorized and strengthened the law.  This Act
reaffirms our Nation's commitment to protecting valuable coastal barrier
habitat in this new century.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    November 13, 2000.

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