FACT SHEET: President Clinton: Preserving America(unknown chars)s Ocean Treasures
                             November 13, 2000

Today, President Clinton signed legislation extending protection for
America?s special ocean habitats. The President signed the National Marine
Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000 (S. 1482), thereby extending and
improving the management of the nation?s 13 marine sanctuaries. Marine
sanctuaries protect Florida?s fragile coral reefs, lush kelp forests off
Monterey Bay and the Channel Islands, nursing grounds for Hawaii?s humpback
whales, and significant sites in maritime history, including the Civil
War?s ironclad USS Monitor.

Preserving America?s Marine Treasures
Congress established the National Marine Sanctuary Program in 1972, one
hundred years after the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, our
nation?s first National Park. Marine sanctuaries extend this nation?s proud
conservation ethic to the sea, and today, 13 marine sanctuaries provide
increased protections for over 18,000 square miles of ocean habitat.
National marine sanctuaries enjoy broad bipartisan support, and President
Clinton acknowledged the leadership on this issue of Senators Snowe and
Kerry, and Representatives Saxton, Faleomavaega, and Farr. Over the past
seven years, the Administration has worked with Congress to increase
funding for the sanctuary program fivefold to $26 million, with an
additional increase requested for this fiscal year. We have also added new
sanctuaries off Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, Hawaii, and, most
recently, Michigan.

In administering the marine sanctions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration works with local citizens to find the best possible
solutions to the tough challenges communities face in protecting the marine
environment. A recent report by the National Research Council provides
strong scientific support for the use of marine protected areas, such as
marine sanctuaries, to sustain fisheries, preserve valuable habitats,
provide outdoor leisure opportunities, and maintain healthy marine
ecosystems. On May 26, President Clinton issued an executive order calling
for more effective use of marine protected areas.

Extending Ocean Conservation, Encouraging the Next Generation of Scientists
In signing the National Marine Sanctuaries Amendment Act, the President
reaffirmed this nation?s commitment to ocean conservation. In addition,
this Act:
?    Authorizes $32 million in fiscal year 2001, with levels increasing by
$2 million a year until fiscal year 2005. It also authorizes $6 million a
year in fiscal years 2001 through 2005 to provide the facilities needed to
manage these special places.
?    Allows for greater protection of the coral reefs off the Northwestern
Hawaiian Islands, one of four remaining major coral reef complexes little
affected by human development. These remote islands are home to 70% of
America?s coral reefs, as well as endangered monk seals and sea turtles.
?    Establishes the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarships to recognize outstanding
scholarship, particularly by women and minorities, in the fields of
oceanography, marine biology, and maritime archeology. The scholarships are
named in memory of Dr. Nancy Foster, a 23-year NOAA employee who as
director of NOAA?s ocean service worked to expand and strengthen the marine

Safeguarding Our Oceans and Coasts. The Clinton-Gore Administration
continues to work for healthier beaches and cleaner coastal waters, greater
protection for endangered and threatened marine species, sound fisheries
management, and support for marine protected areas. To better address
long-term challenges, the President and Vice President launched a national
dialogue leading to a comprehensive strategy for strengthening federal
ocean policy for the 21st century.

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