Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    111-196

======================================================================



 
CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT AMENDMENTS 
                                OF 2009

                                _______
                                

 July 10, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 860]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 860) to reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act 
of 2000, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Coral Reef 
Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2009''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Amendment of Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000.

         TITLE I--AMENDMENTS TO THE CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT

Sec. 101. Short title.
Sec. 102. Expansion of Coral Reef Conservation Program.
Sec. 103. Emergency response.
Sec. 104. National program.
Sec. 105. Report to Congress.
Sec. 106. Fund; grants; grounding inventory; coordination.
Sec. 107. Clarification of definitions.
Sec. 108. Authorization of appropriations.

             TITLE II--UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE

Sec. 201. United States Coral Reef Task Force.

      TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR CORAL REEF AUTHORITIES

Sec. 301. Amendments relating to Department of the Interior program.
Sec. 302. Clarification of definitions.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT OF 2000.

  Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to or repeal 
of a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of the Coral Reef Conservation 
Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.).

         TITLE I--AMENDMENTS TO THE CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Coral Reef Conservation Amendments 
Act of 2009''.

SEC. 102. EXPANSION OF CORAL REEF CONSERVATION PROGRAM.

  (a) Project Diversity.--Section 204(d) (16 U.S.C. 6403(d)) is 
amended--
          (1) in the heading by striking ``Geographic and Biological'' 
        and inserting ``Project''; and
          (2) by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:
          ``(3) Remaining funds shall be awarded for--
                  ``(A) projects (with priority given to community-
                based local action strategies) that address emerging 
                priorities or threats, including international and 
                territorial priorities, or threats identified by the 
                Administrator in consultation with the United States 
                Coral Reef Task Force; and
                  ``(B) other appropriate projects, as determined by 
                the Administrator, including monitoring and assessment, 
                research, pollution reduction, education, and technical 
                support.''.
  (b) Approval Criteria.--Section 204(g) (16 U.S.C. 6403(g)) is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``or'' after the semicolon in paragraph (9);
          (2) by striking paragraph (10); and
          (3) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:
          ``(10) promoting activities designed to minimize the 
        likelihood of vessel impacts on coral reefs, particularly those 
        areas identified under section 210(b), including the promotion 
        of ecologically sound navigation and anchorages near coral 
        reefs; or
          ``(11) promoting and assisting entities to work with local 
        communities, and all appropriate governmental and 
        nongovernmental organizations, to support community-based 
        planning and management initiatives for the protection of coral 
        reef ecosystems.''.

SEC. 103. EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

  Section 206 (16 U.S.C. 6405) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 206. EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIONS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may undertake or authorize 
action necessary--
          ``(1) to minimize the destruction of or injury to a coral 
        reef, or loss of an ecosystem function of a coral reef, from--
                  ``(A) vessel impacts, derelict fishing gear, vessel 
                anchors, and anchor chains; and
                  ``(B) from unforeseen or disaster-related 
                circumstances as a result of human activities; and
          ``(2) to stabilize, repair, recover, or restore a coral reef 
        that is destroyed or injured, or that has incurred the loss of 
        an ecosystem function, as described in paragraph (1).
  ``(b) Vessel Removal; Stabilization.--Action authorized by subsection 
(a) includes vessel removal and emergency stabilization of the vessel 
or any impacted coral reef.
  ``(c) Partnering With Other Federal and State Agencies.--When 
possible, action by the Administrator under this section should--
          ``(1) be conducted in partnership with other government 
        agencies as appropriate, including--
                  ``(A) the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the 
                Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of 
                the Interior; and
                  ``(B) agencies of States; and
          ``(2) leverage resources of other agencies.
  ``(d) Emergency Response Assistance by Other Federal and State 
Agencies.--
          ``(1) In general.--The head of any other Federal or State 
        agency may assist the Administrator in emergency response 
        actions under this section, using funds available for 
        operations of the agency concerned.
          ``(2) Reimbursement.--The Administrator, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations, may reimburse a Federal or 
        State agency for assistance provided under paragraph (1).
  ``(e) Liability for Costs and Damages to Coral Reefs.--
          ``(1) Treatment of coral reefs under national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--For purposes of the provisions set forth in 
        paragraph (2), and subject to paragraph (5), each of the terms 
        `sanctuary resources', `resource', `sanctuary resource managed 
        under law or regulations for that sanctuary', `national marine 
        sanctuary', `sanctuary resources of the national marine 
        sanctuary', and `sanctuary resources of other national marine 
        sanctuaries' is deemed to include any coral reef that is 
        subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or any State, 
        without regard to whether such coral reef is located in a 
        national marine sanctuary.
          ``(2) Applicable provisions of national marine sanctuaries 
        act.--The provisions referred to in paragraph (1) are the 
        following provisions of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act:
                  ``(A) Paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 302 (16 
                U.S.C. 1432).
                  ``(B) Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of section 
                306 (16 U.S.C. 1436).
                  ``(C) Section 307 (16 U.S.C. 1437).
                  ``(D) Section 312 (16 U.S.C. 1443).
          ``(3) Exemptions.--The destruction, loss, or injury of a 
        coral reef or any component thereof is not unlawful if it was--
                  ``(A) caused by the use of fishing gear in a manner 
                that is not prohibited under the Magnuson-Stevens 
                Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 
                et seq.) or other Federal or State law; or
                  ``(B) caused by an activity that is authorized by 
                Federal or State law, including any lawful discharge 
                from a vessel of graywater, cooling water, engine 
                exhaust, ballast water, or sewage from a marine 
                sanitation device, unless the destruction, loss, or 
                injury is a result of a vessel grounding, a vessel 
                scraping, anchor damage, or excavation that is not 
                authorized by a Federal or State permit;
                  ``(C) the necessary result of bona fide marine 
                scientific research (including marine scientific 
                research activities approved by Federal, State, or 
                local permits), other than--
                          ``(i) sampling or collecting; and
                          ``(ii) destruction, loss, or injury that is a 
                        result of a vessel grounding, a vessel 
                        scraping, anchor damage, or excavation that is 
                        not authorized by a Federal or State permit; or
                  ``(D)(i) caused by a Federal Government agency in_
                                  ``(I) an emergency that posed an 
                                unacceptable threat to human health or 
                                safety or to the marine environment;
                                  ``(II) an emergency that posed a 
                                threat to national security; or
                                  ``(III) an activity necessary for law 
                                enforcement purposes or search and 
                                rescue; and
                          ``(ii) could not be avoided.
          ``(4) Clarification of liability.--A person is not liable 
        under this subsection if that person establishes that--
                  ``(A) the destruction or loss of, or injury to, the 
                coral reef or coral reef ecosystem was caused solely by 
                an act of God, an act of war, or an act of omission of 
                a third party, and the person acted with due care;
                  ``(B) the destruction, loss, or injury was caused by 
                an activity authorized by Federal or State law; or
                  ``(C) the destruction, loss, or injury was 
                negligible.
          ``(5) State consent required.--
                  ``(A) In general.--This subsection shall not apply to 
                any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of a 
                State unless the Governor of that State notifies the 
                Secretary that the State consents to that application.
                  ``(B) Revocation of consent.--The governor of a State 
                may revoke consent under subparagraph (A) by notifying 
                the Secretary of such revocation.
          ``(6) Consistency with international laws and treaties.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Any action taken under the 
                authority of this subsection must be consistent with 
                otherwise applicable international laws and treaties.
                  ``(B) Actions authorized with respect to vessels.--
                For purposes of subparagraph (A), actions authorized 
                under this subsection include vessel removal, and 
                emergency re-stabilization of a vessel and any coral 
                reef that is impacted by a vessel.
          ``(7) Liability under other provisions.--Nothing in this 
        title shall alter the liability of any person under any other 
        provision of law.''.

SEC. 104. NATIONAL PROGRAM.

  (a) Purpose of Act.--Section 202 (16 U.S.C. 6401) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (6) as paragraphs 
        (3) through (7), respectively, and by inserting after paragraph 
        (1) the following:
          ``(2) to promote the resilience of coral reef ecosystems;''.
          (2) by amending paragraph (4), as so redesignated, to read as 
        follows:
          ``(4) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to such 
        ecosystems including large-scale threats related to climate 
        change, such as ocean acidification, to benefit local 
        communities and the Nation, and to the extent practicable to 
        support and enhance management and research capabilities at 
        local management agencies and local research and academic 
        institutions;''; and
          (3) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon at the end of 
        paragraph (6), as so redesignated, by striking the period at 
        the end of paragraph (7), as so redesignated, and inserting ``; 
        and'', and by adding at the end the following:
          ``(8) to recognize the benefits of healthy coral reefs to 
        island and coastal communities and to encourage Federal action 
        to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, the continued 
        availability of those benefits.''.
  (b) Goals and Objectives of National Coral Reef Action Strategy.--
Section 203(b)(8) (16 U.S.C. 6402(b)(8)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(8) conservation, including resilience and the 
        consideration of island and local traditions and practices.''.
  (c) Amendments Relating to Activities To Conserve Coral Reefs and 
Coral Reef Ecosystems.--Section 207(b) (16 U.S.C. 6406(b)) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (3) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon;
          (2) in paragraph (4)--
                  (A) by striking ``cooperative conservation'' and 
                inserting ``cooperative research, conservation,''; and
                  (B) by striking ``partners.'' and inserting 
                ``partners, including academic institutions located in 
                States;''; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(5) improving and promoting the resilience of coral reefs 
        and coral reef ecosystems; and
          ``(6) activities designed to minimize the likelihood of 
        vessel impacts or other physical damage to coral reefs, 
        including those areas identified in section 210(b).''.
  (d) Criteria for Approval of Project Proposals.--Section 204(g) (16 
U.S.C. 6403(g)) is further amended by striking ``or'' after the 
semicolon at the end of paragraph (10), by redesignating paragraph (11) 
as paragraph (12), and by inserting after paragraph (10) the following:
          ``(11) improving and promoting the resilience of coral reefs 
        and coral reef ecosystems; or''.
  (e) Data Archive, Access, and Availability.--Section 207 (16 U.S.C. 
6406) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (b) (as amended by subsection (b) of this 
        section) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon at the end of 
        paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end of paragraph 
        (6) and inserting ``; and'', and by adding at the end the 
        following:
          ``(7) centrally archiving, managing, and distributing data 
        sets and providing coral reef ecosystem assessments and 
        services to the general public with local, regional, or 
        international programs and partners.''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
  ``(c) Data Archive, Access, and Availability.--The Secretary, in 
coordination with similar efforts at other Departments and agencies 
shall provide for the long-term stewardship of environmental data, 
products, and information via data processing, storage, and archive 
facilities pursuant to this title. The Secretary may--
          ``(1) archive environmental data collected by Federal, State, 
        local agencies and tribal organizations and federally funded 
        research;
          ``(2) promote widespread availability and dissemination of 
        environmental data and information through full and open access 
        and exchange to the greatest extent possible, including in 
        electronic format on the Internet;
          ``(3) develop standards, protocols and procedures for sharing 
        Federal data with State and local government programs and the 
        private sector or academia; and
          ``(4) develop metadata standards for coral reef ecosystems in 
        accordance with Federal Geographic Data Committee 
        guidelines.''.

SEC. 105. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

  Section 208 (16 U.S.C. 6407) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 208. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

  ``Not later than March 1, 2010, and every 5 years thereafter, the 
Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of 
the House of Representatives a report describing all activities 
undertaken to implement the strategy, including--
          ``(1) a description of the funds obligated by each 
        participating Federal agency to advance coral reef conservation 
        during each fiscal year of the 5-fiscal-year period preceding 
        the fiscal year in which the report is submitted;
          ``(2) a description of Federal interagency and cooperative 
        efforts with States and non-governmental partner organizations 
        to prevent or address overharvesting, coastal runoff, or other 
        anthropogenic impacts on coral reef ecosystems, including 
        projects undertaken with the Department of the Interior, the 
        Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, 
        and the Army Corps of Engineers;
          ``(3) a summary of the information contained in the vessel 
        grounding inventory established under section 210, including 
        additional authorization or funding, needed for response and 
        removal of such vessels;
          ``(4) a description of Federal disaster response actions 
        taken pursuant to the National Response Plan to address damage 
        to coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems; and
          ``(5) an assessment of the condition of United States coral 
        reefs, accomplishments under this Act, and the effectiveness of 
        management actions to address threats to coral reefs, including 
        actions taken to address large-scale threats to coral reef 
        ecosystems related to climate change.''.

SEC. 106. FUND; GRANTS; GROUNDING INVENTORY; COORDINATION.

  (a) Fund; Grants; Grounding Inventory; Coordination.--The Act (16 
U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) is amended--
          (1) in section 205(a) (16 U.S.C. 6404(a)), by striking 
        ``organization solely'' and all that follows and inserting 
        ``organization--
          ``(1) to support partnerships between the public and private 
        sectors that further the purposes of this Act and are 
        consistent with the national coral reef strategy under section 
        203; and
          ``(2) to address emergency response actions under section 
        206.'';
          (2) by adding at the end of section 205(b) (16 U.S.C. 
        6404(b)) the following: ``The organization is encouraged to 
        solicit funding and in-kind services from the private sector, 
        including nongovernmental organizations, for emergency response 
        actions under section 206 and for activities to prevent damage 
        to coral reefs, including areas identified in section 
        210(b)(2).'';
          (3) in section 205(c) (16 U.S.C. 6404(c)), by striking ``the 
        grant program'' and inserting ``any grant program or emergency 
        response action'';
          (4) by redesignating sections 209 and 210 as sections 217 and 
        218, respectively; and
          (5) by inserting after section 208 the following:

``SEC. 209. COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING GRANTS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may make grants to entities that 
are eligible to receive grants under section 204(c) to provide 
additional funds to such entities to work with local communities and 
through appropriate Federal and State entities to prepare and implement 
plans for the increased protection of coral reef areas identified by 
the community and scientific experts as high priorities for focused 
attention. The plans shall--
          ``(1) support attainment of one or more of the criteria 
        described in section 204(g);
          ``(2) be developed at the community level;
          ``(3) utilize where applicable watershed-based or ecosystem-
        based approaches;
          ``(4) provide for coordination with Federal and State experts 
        and managers;
          ``(5) build upon local approaches or models, including 
        traditional or island-based resource management concepts; and
          ``(6) complement local action strategies or regional plans 
        for coral reef conservation.
  ``(b) Terms and Conditions.--The provisions of subsections (b), (d), 
(f), and (h) of section 204 apply to grants under subsection (a), 
except that, for the purpose of applying section 204(b)(1) to grants 
under this section, `75 percent' shall be substituted for `50 percent'.

``SEC. 210. VESSEL GROUNDING INVENTORY.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator, in coordination with other 
Federal agencies, may maintain an inventory of all vessel grounding 
incidents involving coral reefs, including a description of--
          ``(1) the impacts to such resources;
          ``(2) vessel and ownership information, if available;
          ``(3) the estimated cost of removal, mitigation, or 
        restoration;
          ``(4) the response action taken by the owner, the 
        Administrator, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, or other 
        Federal or State agency representatives;
          ``(5) the status of the response action, including the dates 
        of vessel removal and mitigation or restoration and any actions 
        taken to prevent future grounding incidents; and
          ``(6) recommendations for additional navigational aids or 
        other mechanisms for preventing future grounding incidents.
  ``(b) Identification of At-Risk Reefs.--The Administrator may--
          ``(1) use information from any inventory maintained under 
        subsection (a) or any other available information source to 
        identify all coral reef areas that have a high incidence of 
        vessel impacts, including groundings and anchor damage;
          ``(2) identify appropriate measures, including action by 
        other agencies, to reduce the likelihood of such impacts; and
          ``(3) develop a strategy and timetable to implement such 
        measures, including cooperative actions with other Government 
        agencies and non-governmental partners.

``SEC. 211. REGIONAL, STATE, AND TERRITORIAL COORDINATION.

  ``(a) Regional Coordination.--The Secretary and other Federal members 
of the United States Coral Reef Task Force shall work in coordination 
and collaboration with other Federal agencies and States to implement 
the strategies developed under section 203, including regional and 
local strategies, to address multiple threats to coral reefs and coral 
reef ecosystems such as coastal runoff, vessel impacts, and 
overharvesting.
  ``(b) Response and Restoration Activities.--The Secretary shall enter 
into written agreements with any States in which coral reefs are 
located regarding the manner in which response and restoration 
activities will be conducted within the affected State's waters. 
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit Federal response 
and restoration activity authority before any such agreement is final.
  ``(c) Cooperative Enforcement Agreements.--All cooperative 
enforcement agreements in place between the Secretary and States 
affected by this title shall be updated to include enforcement of this 
title where appropriate.

``SEC. 212. AGREEMENTS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may execute and perform such 
contracts, leases, grants, or cooperative agreements as may be 
necessary to carry out the purposes of this title.
  ``(b) Cooperative Agreements.--In addition to the general authority 
provided by subsection (a), the Administrator may enter into, extend, 
or renegotiate agreements with universities and research centers with 
established management-driven national or regional coral reef research 
institutes to conduct ecological research and monitoring explicitly 
aimed at building capacity for more effective resource management. 
Pursuant to any such agreements these institutes shall--
          ``(1) collaborate directly with governmental resource 
        management agencies, non-profit organizations, and other 
        research organizations;
          ``(2) build capacity within resource management agencies to 
        establish research priorities, plan interdisciplinary research 
        projects and make effective use of research results; and
          ``(3) conduct public education and awareness programs for 
        policy makers, resource managers, and the general public on 
        coral reef ecosystems, best practices for coral reef and 
        ecosystem management and conservation, their value, and threats 
        to their sustainability.
  ``(c) Use of Other Agencies' Resources.--For purposes related to the 
conservation, preservation, protection, restoration, or replacement of 
coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems and the enforcement of this title, 
the Administrator is authorized to use, with their consent and with or 
without reimbursement, the land, services, equipment, personnel, and 
facilities of any Department, agency, or instrumentality of the United 
States, or of any State, local government, or Indian tribal government, 
or of any political subdivision thereof, or of any foreign government 
or international organization.

``SEC. 213. INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF CONSERVATION STRATEGY.

  ``(a) International Coral Reef Ecosystem Strategy.--
          ``(1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of the Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization 
        and Enhancement Amendments of 2009, the Secretary shall submit 
        to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on 
        Natural Resources, and publish in the Federal Register, an 
        international coral reef ecosystem strategy, consistent with 
        the purposes of this title and the national strategy required 
        pursuant to section 203(a). The Secretary shall periodically 
        review and revise this strategy as necessary.
          ``(2) Contents.--The strategy developed by the Secretary 
        under paragraph (1) shall--
                  ``(A) identify coral reef ecosystems throughout the 
                world that are of high value for United States marine 
                resources, that support high-seas resources of 
                importance to the United States such as fisheries, or 
                that support other interests of the United States;
                  ``(B) summarize existing activities by Federal 
                agencies and entities described in subsection (b) to 
                address the conservation of coral reef ecosystems 
                identified pursuant to subparagraph (A);
                  ``(C) establish goals, objectives, and specific 
                targets for conservation of priority international 
                coral reef ecosystems;
                  ``(D) describe appropriate activities to achieve the 
                goals and targets for international coral reef 
                conservation, in particular those that leverage 
                activities already conducted under this title;
                  ``(E) develop a plan to coordinate implementation of 
                the strategy with entities described in subsection (b) 
                in order to leverage current activities under this 
                title and other conservation efforts globally;
                  ``(F) identify appropriate partnerships, grants, or 
                other funding and technical assistance mechanisms to 
                carry out the strategy; and
                  ``(G) develop criteria for prioritizing partnerships 
                under subsection (c).
  ``(b) Coordination.--In carrying out this section, the Secretary 
shall consult with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the 
Agency for International Development, the Secretary of the Interior, 
and other relevant Federal agencies, and relevant United States 
stakeholders, and shall take into account coral reef ecosystem 
conservation initiatives of other nations, international agreements, 
and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations so as to 
provide effective cooperation and efficiencies in international coral 
reef conservation. The Secretary may consult with the United States 
Coral Reef Task Force in carrying out this subsection.
  ``(c) International Coral Reef Ecosystem Partnerships.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may establish an 
        international coral reef ecosystem partnership program to 
        provide support, including funding and technical assistance, 
        for activities that implement the strategy developed pursuant 
        to subsection (a).
          ``(2) Mechanisms.--The Secretary shall provide such support 
        through existing authorities, working in collaboration with the 
        entities described in subsection (b).
          ``(3) Criteria for approval.--The Secretary may not approve a 
        partnership proposal under this section unless the partnership 
        is consistent with the international coral reef conservation 
        strategy developed pursuant to subsection (a), and meets the 
        criteria specified in that strategy.
  ``(d) Priority for Certain Projects Conducted by States.--In 
implementing this section, the Secretary shall give priority 
consideration to regional initiatives and projects that States are 
participating in with other nations.

``SEC. 214. PERMITS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator may, in accordance with this 
section and regulations issued under this title, issue a permit 
authorizing the conduct of bona fide research.
  ``(b) Exempt Activities.--No permit under this section is required 
for an activity that is exempt from liability under section 206(e).
  ``(c) Terms and Conditions.--The Administrator may place any terms 
and conditions on a permit issued under this section that the 
Administrator deems reasonable.
  ``(d) Fees.--
          ``(1) Assessment and collection.--Subject to regulations 
        issued under this title, the Administrator may assess and 
        collect fees as specified in this subsection.
          ``(2) Amount.--Any fee assessed shall be equal to the sum 
        of--
                  ``(A) all costs incurred, or expected to be incurred, 
                by the Administrator in processing the permit 
                application, including indirect costs; and
                  ``(B) if the permit is approved, all costs incurred, 
                or expected to be incurred, by the Administrator as a 
                direct result of the conduct of the activity for which 
                the permit is issued.
          ``(3) Use of fees.--Amounts collected by the Administrator in 
        the form of fees under this section shall be collected and 
        available for use only to the extent provided in advance in 
        appropriations Acts and may be used by the Administrator for 
        issuing and administering permits under this section.
          ``(4) Waiver or reduction of fees.--For any fee assessed 
        under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Administrator may--
                  ``(A) accept in-kind contributions in lieu of a fee; 
                or
                  ``(B) waive or reduce the fee.
  ``(e) Fishing.--Nothing in this section shall be considered to 
require a person to obtain a permit under this section for the conduct 
of any fishing activity that is not prohibited by this title or 
regulations issued under this title.

``SEC. 215. REGULATIONS; APPLICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL 
                    LAW.

  ``(a) Regulations.--The Administrator may issue such regulations as 
are necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of sections 206 
and 214.
  ``(b) Relationship to International Law.-- This title and any 
regulations promulgated under this title shall be applied in accordance 
with international law. No restrictions shall apply to or be enforced 
against a person who is not a citizen, national, or resident alien of 
the United States (including foreign flag vessels) unless in accordance 
with international law.

``SEC. 216. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

  ``(a) In General.--Judicial review of any action taken by the 
Secretary under this title shall be in accordance with sections 701 
through 706 of title 5, United States Code, except that--
          ``(1) review of any final agency action of the Secretary 
        taken under the authority of section 206(e) may be had only by 
        the filing of a complaint by an interested person in the United 
        States District Court for the appropriate district within 30 
        days after the date such final agency action is taken; and
          ``(2) review of the issuance or denial of a permit under this 
        title may be had only by the filing of a petition for review by 
        an interested person in the Circuit Court of Appeals of the 
        United States for the District of Columbia Circuit or for the 
        Federal judicial district in which such person resides or 
        transacts business which is directly affected by the action 
        taken within 120 days after the date such final agency action 
        is taken.
  ``(b) Cost of Litigation.--In any judicial proceeding under 
subsection (a), the court may award costs of litigation (including 
reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any prevailing party 
whenever it determines that such award is appropriate.''.
  (b) Cooperative Agreements.--Section 204 (16 U.S.C. 6403) is amended 
by adding at the end the following:
  ``(k) Multiyear Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator may enter 
into multiyear cooperative agreements with the heads of other Federal 
agencies, States, local governments, academic institutions, and non-
governmental organizations to carry out the activities of the national 
coral reef action strategy developed under section 203 and to implement 
regional strategies developed pursuant to section 211.''.

SEC. 107. CLARIFICATION OF DEFINITIONS.

  Section 218, as redesignated by section 106(a) of this Act (relating 
to definitions; 16 U.S.C. 6409), is further amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
          ``(2) Conservation.--The term `conservation' means the use of 
        methods and procedures that are necessary to preserve or 
        sustain coral reefs and associated species as resilient 
        diverse, viable, and self-perpetuating coral reef ecosystems, 
        including--
                  ``(A) all activities associated with resource 
                management, such as assessment, conservation, 
                protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
                management of habitat;
                  ``(B) mapping;
                  ``(C) monitoring of coral reef ecosystems;
                  ``(D) development and implementation of management 
                strategies for marine protected area or networks 
                thereof and marine resources consistent with the 
                National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et 
                seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
                Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.);
                  ``(E) law enforcement;
                  ``(F) conflict resolution initiatives;
                  ``(G) community outreach and education; and
                  ``(H) activities that promote safe and ecologically 
                sound navigation.'';
          (2) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
          ``(3) Coral.--The term `coral' means species of the phylum 
        Cnidaria, including--
                  ``(A) all species of the orders Antipatharia (black 
                corals), Scleractinia (stony corals), Gorgonacea (horny 
                corals), Stolonifera (organ-pipe corals and others), 
                Alcyonacea (soft corals), and Helioporacea (blue 
                coral), of the class Anthozoa; and
                  ``(B) all species of the families Milleporidae (fire 
                corals) and Stylasteridae (stylasterid hydrocorals), of 
                the class Hydrozoa.'';
          (3) by amending paragraph (4) to read as follows:
          ``(4) Coral reef.--The term `coral reef' means a limestone 
        structure composed in whole or in part of living zooxanthellate 
        stony corals (Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia), their 
        skeletal remains, or both.'';
          (4) by amending paragraph (5) to read as follows:
          ``(5) Coral reef ecosystem.--The term `coral reef ecosystem' 
        means a system of coral reefs and geographically associated 
        species, habitats, and environment, including mangroves and 
        seagrass habitats, and the processes that control its 
        dynamics.'';
          (5) by redesignating paragraphs (7) and (8) in order as 
        paragraphs (8) and (9), respectively, and by inserting after 
        paragraph (6) the following:
          ``(7) Coral reef component.--The term `coral reef component' 
        means any part of a coral reef, including individual living or 
        dead corals, associated sessile invertebrates and plants, and 
        any adjacent or associated seagrasses.''.

SEC. 108. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  Section 217, as redesignated by section 106(a) of this Act (relating 
to authorization of appropriations; 16 U.S.C. 6408), is further 
amended--
          (1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
  ``(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary of Commerce to carry out this title $30,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2010, $32,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, $34,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2012, and $35,000,000 for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.'';
          (2) in subsection (b) by striking ``$1,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``$2,000,000'';
          (3) by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:
  ``(c) Community-Based Planning Grants.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Administrator to carry out section 209, $8,000,000 
for fiscal years 2010 through 2014, to remain available until 
expended.''; and
          (4) by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following:
  ``(d) Department of the Interior.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this title 
$10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013.''.

             TITLE II--UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE

SEC. 201. UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE.

  (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the United States 
Coral Reef Task Force.
  (b) Goal.--The goal of the Task Force shall be to lead, coordinate, 
and strengthen Federal Government actions to better preserve and 
protect coral reef ecosystems.
  (c) Duties.--The duties of the Task Force shall be--
          (1) to coordinate, in cooperation with State and local 
        government partners, academic partners, and nongovernmental 
        partners if appropriate, activities regarding the mapping, 
        monitoring, research, conservation, mitigation, restoration of 
        coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems;
          (2) to monitor and advise regarding implementation of the 
        policy and Federal agency responsibilities set forth in 
        Executive Order 13089 and the national coral reef action 
        strategy developed under section 203 of the Coral Reef 
        Conservation Act of 2000, as amended by this Act; and
          (3) to work with the Secretary of State and the Administrator 
        of the Agency for International Development, and in 
        coordination with the other members of the Task Force, to--
                  (A) assess the United States role in international 
                trade and protection of coral species; and
                  (B) encourage implementation of appropriate 
                strategies and actions to promote conservation and 
                sustainable use of coral reef resources worldwide.
  (d) Membership, Generally.--The Task Force shall be comprised of--
          (1) the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, and the Secretary of the Interior, who shall be 
        co-chairs of the Task Force;
          (2) the Administrator of the Agency of International 
        Development;
          (3) the Secretary of Agriculture;
          (4) the Secretary of Defense;
          (5) the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Corps of 
        Engineers;
          (6) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
          (7) the Attorney General;
          (8) the Secretary of State;
          (9) the Secretary of Transportation;
          (10) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
        Agency;
          (11) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration;
          (12) the Director of the National Science Foundation;
          (13) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
          (14) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
          (15) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the State of Florida;
          (16) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the State of Hawaii;
          (17) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Territory of Guam;
          (18) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Territory of American Samoa; and
          (19) the Governor, or a representative of the Governor, of 
        the Virgin Islands.
  (e) Nonvoting Members.--The President, or a representative of the 
President, of each of the Freely Associated States of the Federated 
States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the 
Republic of Palau may appoint a nonvoting member of the Task Force.
  (f) Responsibilities of Federal Agency Members.--
          (1) In general.--The Federal agency members of the Task Force 
        shall--
                  (A) identify the actions of their agencies that may 
                affect coral reef ecosystems;
                  (B) utilize the programs and authorities of their 
                agencies to protect and enhance the conditions of such 
                ecosystems; and
                  (C) assist in the implementation of the National 
                Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs, the national coral 
                reef action strategy developed under section 203 of the 
                Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as amended by this 
                Act, the local action strategies, and any other 
                coordinated efforts approved by the Task Force.
          (2) Co-chairs.--In addition to their responsibilities under 
        paragraph (1), the co-chairs of the Task Force shall administer 
        performance of the functions of the Task Force and facilitate 
        the coordination of the Federal agency members of the Task 
        Force.
  (g) Working Groups.--
          (1) In general.--The co-chairs of the Task Force may 
        establish working groups as necessary to meet the goals and 
        duties of this title. The Task Force may request the co-chairs 
        to establish such a working group.
          (2) Participation by nongovernmental organizations.--The co-
        chairs may allow a nongovernmental organization or academic 
        institution to participate in such a working group.
  (h) FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall 
not apply to the Task Force.
  (i) Definitions.--The definitions in section 218 of the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000, as amended by this Act , shall apply to this 
section.

      TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR CORAL REEF AUTHORITIES

SEC. 301. AMENDMENTS RELATING TO DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAM.

  (a) Amendments and Clarifications to Definitions.--
          (1) Fish and wildlife coordination act.--Section 8 of the 
        Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 666b) is amended 
        by inserting before the period at the end the following: ``, 
        including coral reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in 
        section 218 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000) located 
        in any unit of the National Park System, any unit of the 
        National Wildlife Refuge System, or any Marine National 
        Monument designated under the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 
        225; 16 U.S.C. 431) (popularly known as the `Antiquities 
        Act')''.
          (2) Fish and wildlife act of 1956 and fish and wildlife 
        improvement act of 1978.--With respect to the authorities under 
        the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.) and 
        the authorities under the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 
        1978 (16 U.S.C. 742l), references in such Acts to ``wildlife'' 
        and ``fish and wildlife'' shall be construed to include coral 
        reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in section 218 of the 
        Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as amended by this Act) 
        located in any unit of the National Park System, any unit of 
        the National Wildlife Refuge System, or any Marine National 
        Monument designated under the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 
        225; 16 U.S.C. 431) (popularly known as the ``Antiquities 
        Act'').
  (b) Coral Reef Conservation Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of the Interior may provide 
        technical assistance and, subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, financial assistance for the conservation of 
        coral reefs.
          (2) Definitions.--In this subsection each of the terms 
        ``conservation'' and ``coral reef'' has the meaning that term 
        has under section 218 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 
        2000 (16 U.S.C. 6409), amended by this Act.

SEC. 302. CLARIFICATION OF DEFINITIONS.

  Section 218, as redesignated by section 106(a) of this Act (relating 
to definitions; 16 U.S.C. 6409), is further amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
          ``(1) Administrator.--The term `Administrator'--
                  ``(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), means 
                the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration; and
                  ``(B) in sections 206, 209, 212, 214, and 215, means 
                the Secretary of the Interior for purposes of 
                application of those sections to national park units 
                and national wildlife refuges.''; and
          (2) by amending paragraph (8), as redesignated by section 
        107(5) of this Act, to read as follows:
          ``(8) Secretary.--The term `Secretary'--
                  ``(A) except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and 
                (C), means the Secretary of Commerce;
                  ``(B) in section 206(e), means--
                          ``(i) the Secretary of the Interior, with 
                        respect to any coral reef or component thereof 
                        that is located in--
                                  ``(I) any unit of the National Park 
                                System;
                                  ``(II) any unit of the National 
                                Wildlife Refuge System; or
                                  ``(III) any Marine National Monument 
                                designated under any of the Fish and 
                                Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 
                                661 et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife Act 
                                of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.), the 
                                Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 
                                1978 (16 U.S.C. 695j-1 et seq) and the 
                                provisions of law enacted by that Act, 
                                and the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 
                                225; 16 U.S.C. 431) (popularly known as 
                                the `Antiquities Act') and that is 
                                under the administrative jurisdiction 
                                of the Secretary of the Interior; and
                          ``(ii) the Secretary of Commerce, with 
                        respect to any other coral reef or component 
                        thereof that is located in any Marine National 
                        Monument designated under a law referred to in 
                        clause (i)(III); and
                  ``(C) in sections 203, means the Secretary of 
                Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 860 is to reauthorize the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Coral reefs are some of the most threatened marine 
ecosystems both in the United States and globally. Reef 
building corals are tiny marine animals that depend on 
symbiotic algae to convert sunlight and nutrients into energy 
for growth and reproduction. Commonly found growing in colonies 
of polyps, both hard and soft corals secrete calcium carbonate 
exoskeletons that, in the aggregate, form coral reef 
structures. These structures reproduce and grow to become 
massive living structures that cover wide areas of shallow 
tropical and subtropical seas and represent some of the oldest 
living systems on the planet.
    Located along one-sixth of the world's coastlines, coral 
reefs can support hundreds of thousands of plant and animal 
species, with estimates of more than 9 million reef species 
worldwide. The full value of coral reef ecosystems remains 
difficult to precisely determine, but estimates are available. 
The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2004 reported that coral 
reef ecosystems provide an estimated total worldwide value of 
$375 billion in goods and services. Conservation International 
reported more narrowly in 2008 an estimated global value for 
coral reefs of $29.8 billion derived from tourism, recreation, 
coastal protection, fisheries and the maintenance of 
biodiversity. More specifically, estimates of annual economic 
value of coral reefs in Hawaii ($364 million), Guam ($127.3 
million), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
($61.7 million), and American Samoa ($5.8 million) demonstrate 
the importance of this resource to island economies. Growing 
interest in the medicinal properties of corals as exhibited by 
the pharmaceutical industry should only increase the overall 
economic value of corals. Additionally, scientific knowledge 
contained within certain corals is invaluable. Living commonly 
for 300 years or more, some corals can provide scientists with 
hundreds of years of environmental data based on the chemical 
composition of their skeletons, which is important for research 
to improve our understanding of global climate change and ocean 
acidification.
    Unfortunately, coral species, and all associated reef 
species and habitats, are in peril. According to the Global 
Coral Reef Monitoring Network, over 28 percent of the world's 
coral reefs have been permanently lost. Many coral reefs must 
cope with multiple environmental threats, including: over-
fishing and destructive fishing practices; ship groundings and 
debris; human population growth and shoreline development; 
polluted run-off and degraded water quality; and siltation and 
impaired water clarity. Additionally, coral reefs are 
increasingly threatened directly from another global 
phenomenon: ocean acidification. The recent release of the 
Monaco Declaration of 2008, signed by 155 scientists from 26 
nations, made clear that ocean acidification caused by 
CO2 absorption is accelerating and that irreparable 
damage to coral ecosystems is imminent. The declaration 
emphasized that it is imperative that we protect these fragile 
ecosystems before they literally dissolve away.
    In consideration of the many threats facing coral reefs, 
Congress enacted in 2000 the Coral Reef Conservation Act. The 
Act established within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) a Coral Reef Conservation Program to fund 
coral reef conservation activities directly through grants to 
states, territories and other partners. The Act also required 
development of a Coral Reef Action Strategy and authorized NOAA 
to undertake research, mapping, management and education and 
outreach activities to protect coral reef ecosystems. H.R. 860 
enhances the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 to provide 
additional tools available to federal, state and territorial 
marine resource managers and scientists to continue to protect 
coral reefs from the growing number of threats they face.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 860 was introduced on February 4, 2009 by 
Representative Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU). The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and 
Wildlife. On February 25, 2009, the Subcommittee held a hearing 
on the bill. On April 22, 2009, the Subcommittee was discharged 
from further consideration of H.R. 860 and the Full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Representative 
Bordallo (D-GU) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute (ANS). Representative Boren (D-OK) offered an 
amendment to the ANS that would have narrowed the definition of 
``coral reef''. It was withdrawn. Representative Hastings (R-
WA) offered an amendment to the amendment that would have 
struck from the bill the new section 216 concerning judicial 
review. It also was withdrawn. Representative Hastings (R-WA) 
offered a second amendment to the ANS that would have made 
ineligible to receive any financial assistance under the Act 
any organization that was party to a lawsuit against the 
federal government. The amendment was withdrawn. The amendment 
in the nature of a substitute was then adopted by voice vote. 
The bill as amended was then ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by voice vote.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the `Coral 
Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement 
Amendments of 2009'.

Section 2. Amendment of Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000

    Section 2 states that unless otherwise expressly provided, 
amendments in this bill are made to the Coral Reef Conservation 
Act of 2000.

         TITLE I--AMENDMENTS TO THE CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT

Section 101. Short title

    Section 101 cites this title as the `Coral Reef 
Conservation Amendments Act of 2009'.

Section 102. Expansion of Coral Reef Conservation Program

    Section 102 revises the Coral Reef Conservation Program 
established by the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 to 
ensure diversity in projects funded by the program. It also 
expands the criteria used to review proposed projects to ensure 
that approved projects minimize the likelihood of vessel 
impacts to reefs and also promote and support community-based 
planning and management initiatives for coral reefs.

Section 103. Emergency response

    Section 103 expands the authorities of the NOAA 
Administrator to take actions necessary to address emergency 
situations affecting coral reefs, including vessel impacts and 
unforeseen or disaster-related circumstances. These actions may 
include, but are not limited to, vessel removals and emergency 
stabilization of a vessel or impacted coral reef. Additionally, 
this section authorizes other federal and state agencies to 
assist the NOAA Administrator in emergency response activities 
and to receive reimbursement for services rendered. Finally, 
this section expands the authority for enforcement and recovery 
of costs for natural resource damages under the National Marine 
Sanctuaries Act to apply to corals and coral reefs that lie in 
waters under U.S. jurisdiction but outside of the boundaries of 
existing marine sanctuaries, provided there is state or 
territorial consent for coral reef damages that occur in state 
or territorial waters, and further provided that such actions 
are consistent with international law. However, exemptions are 
granted for damages caused by fishing activities that comply 
with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act; activities authorized by federal or state law; impacts 
necessary to facilitate bona fide marine scientific research; 
and damages caused by the federal government during 
emergencies.

Section 104. National program

    Section 104 expands the purposes of the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act and the goals and objectives of the national 
coral reef program to incorporate greater emphasis on the 
importance of coral resources to local communities, to 
recognize the role local academic institutions play in 
facilitating coral reef conservation, management and research 
activities, and to recognize the threat of climate change to 
coral reef resources. This section expands the criteria for 
approval of project proposals to include improving the 
resilience of coral reefs and centrally archiving, managing, 
and distributing data sets about coral reef ecosystems. 
Finally, this section directs the Secretary to be the long-term 
steward and to make available environmental data, products, and 
information related to coral reef ecosystems.

Section 105. Report to Congress

    Section 105 replaces the existing requirement in the Coral 
Reef Conservation Act of 2000 for two separate reports to 
Congress on the Conservation Grant Program and the National 
Program. Instead, the Administrator is required to submit to 
Congress once every five years, commencing no later than March 
1, 2010, a report describing all activities undertaken to 
implement the national coral reef action strategy.

Section 106. Fund; grants; grounding inventory; coordination

    Section 106 expands the role of the private organization 
that manages the Coral Reef Conservation Fund to clarify that 
this organization should encourage public-private partnerships 
consistent with the Act, and solicit non-federal funding and 
in-kind services from the private sector to support emergency 
response activities. This section also amends the Act by re-
designating sections 209 and 210 of the Act as sections 217 and 
218 and by inserting eight new sections to the Act.
    Section 209 authorizes a community-based grant program to 
support local community efforts to prepare and implement plans 
supporting increased protection of high priority coral reef 
areas.
    Section 210 directs NOAA to establish and maintain a vessel 
grounding inventory for all incidents involving coral reefs, 
including locations, vessel ownership information, estimates 
and costs for removal, mitigation and restoration activities, 
and recommendations to prevent future groundings. NOAA is also 
directed to identify all reef areas with a high incidence rate 
of vessel impacts and develop a strategy and timetable to 
reduce the likelihood of these impacts.
    Section 211 directs the Secretary and the other federal 
members of the Coral Reef Task Force to coordinate and 
collaborate with other federal agencies, states, and 
territorial governments to implement the national coral reef 
action strategy. This section directs the Secretary to enter 
into written agreements with any states in regard to response 
and restoration activities for coral reefs within affected 
state waters and to update enforcement agreements.
    Section 212 allows the Administrator to enter into 
agreements with universities and research centers, such as 
coral reef institutes or other educational institutions such as 
the University of Guam or American Samoa Community College, to 
conduct ecological research and monitoring that builds capacity 
for more effective resource management. It allows the 
Administrator to use, with their consent, the resources of 
other agencies, state, local, or tribal governments, foreign 
governments, or international organizations to form strategic 
and beneficial partnerships to accomplish shared goals in coral 
reef conservation.
    Section 213 establishes an International Coral Reef 
Conservation Strategy to conserve coral reef ecosystems in 
waters outside of U.S. jurisdiction. It directs the Secretary 
to submit an international coral reef ecosystem strategy to 
Congress, which identifies high value coral reef ecosystems 
throughout the world. This strategy also states goals, 
activities, and partnerships needed to conserve these 
prioritized ecosystems. It also authorizes a partnership 
program to provide support for these activities that implement 
this strategy and conserve coral reefs that cross international 
boundaries, protecting the connectivity of these ecosystems. 
Finally, in implementing this section the Secretary is to give 
priority consideration to regional initiatives and projects 
that states are participating in with other nations.
    Section 214 allows the Administrator to issue and collect 
fees for coral reef conservation permits for bona fide 
research. Any activity exempt from liability is not required to 
obtain a permit.
    Section 215 allows the Administrator to issue regulations 
to carry out the purposes of the Act.
    Section 216 clarifies that complaints on agency action 
taken pursuant to the new section 206(e) of the Act must be 
made within 30 days to receive judicial review of an agency 
action. Complaints regarding the issuance or denial of a permit 
must be made within 120 days. The costs of litigation may be 
awarded by the court to any prevailing party.
    Section 106 also expands section 204 of the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000, allowing the Administrator to enter 
into multi-year cooperative agreements with federal agencies, 
states, territories, local governments, academic institutions, 
and non-governmental organizations to carry out the national 
coral reef action strategy and to implement regional 
strategies.

Section 107. Clarification of definitions

    Section 107 makes technical and clarifying revisions to the 
definitions of `conservation,' `coral,' `coral reef,' and 
`coral reef ecosystem,' within the original Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000 to better capture the biological and 
ecological elements of coral reefs and the full range of 
activities that comprise conservation and adds a definition of 
'coral reef component'.

Section 108. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 108 authorizes the appropriation of $30,000,000 to 
the Secretary of Commerce for Fiscal Year 2010, increasing 
incrementally each year to $35,000,000 for each of Fiscal Years 
2013 and 2014 to implement the Act. This section authorizes the 
NOAA to receive $8 million for Fiscal Years 2010-2014 for 
community-based planning grants. The Secretary of the Interior 
is authorized to receive $10 million per year for Fiscal Years 
2009-2013 to implement the Act.

             TITLE II--UNITED STATES CORAL REEF TASK FORCE

Section 201. United States Coral Reef Task Force

    Section 201 codifies the existing United States Coral Reef 
Task Force created in 2000 by President William J. Clinton 
pursuant to Executive Order 13089.

      TITLE III--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR CORAL REEF AUTHORITIES

Section 301. Amendments relating to the Department of the Interior 
        program

    Section 301 recognizes the Secretary of the Interior's 
authorities over coral reef resources under the management 
jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. This section 
would amend the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Fish 
and Wildlife Act of 1956, and the Fish and Wildlife Improvement 
Act of 1978 to clarify that coral reefs are included as fish 
and wildlife resources located in any unit of the National Park 
System, any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, or any 
Marine National Monument. In addition, the Secretary of the 
Interior is authorized to provide technical and financial 
assistance to coastal states and territories for coral reef 
conservation.

Section 302. Clarification of definitions

    This section revises the definition of `Secretary' to 
include the Secretary of the Interior for any coral reef that 
is located within the National Wildlife Refuge System, the 
National Park System, or Marine National Monument that is under 
the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of the 
Interior. This section also clarifies that 'Administrator' in 
sections 206, 209, 212, 214, and 215 means the Secretary of 
Interior as defined in this section.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in the bill are not currently being nor could they be performed 
by one or more agencies, an advisory committee already in 
existence or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to reauthorize the Coral Reef 
Conservation Act of 2000, and for other purposes.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 860--Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement 
        Amendments of 2009

    Summary: H.R. 860 would authorize the appropriation of $214 
million over the 2010-2014 period to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the 
Interior (DOI) for programs and research on conserving coral 
reefs. Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that carrying out those activities would cost $200 
million through 2014. (An additional $14 million would be spent 
after 2014.) Enacting H.R. 860 could increase revenues and 
associated direct spending, but we estimate that such changes 
would have no significant net impact in any year.
    By establishing new protections for coral reefs, H.R. 860 
would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). CBO 
estimates that the annual costs of complying with those 
mandates would fall below the annual thresholds established in 
UMRA ($69 million for intergovernmental mandates and $139 
million for private-sector mandates in 2009, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    Estimated Cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 860 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2010     2011     2012     2013     0214   2009-2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION'

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program:
    Authorization Level.................................       30       32       34       35       35       166
    Estimate Outlays....................................       20       27       32       34       34       147
International Coral Reef Conservation Program:
    Authorization Level.................................       10       10       10       10        0        40
    Estimated Outlays...................................       12       11       11       10        1        45
Community Planning Grants:
    Estimate Authorization Level........................        1        2        2        2        1         8
    Estimate Outlays....................................        1        2        2        2        1         8
Total Changes:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       41       44       46       47       36       214
    Estimated Outlays...................................       33       40       45       46       36       200
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\The table does not include any amounts for possible permit fees and associated spending, both of which would
  require future Congressional action. Such amounts are expected to be minor and to offset each other in any
  year.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
860 will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2009 and that 
the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. 
Estimated outlays are, based on historical spending patterns 
for similar programs.
    The amouts specifically authorized to be appropriated by 
H.R. 860 include between $30 million and $35 million annually 
through 2014 for NOAA's current programs and $10 million 
annually through 2013 for new DOI programs. (By comparison, 
NOAA received an appropriation of $29 million in 2009 for the 
coral reef conservation program. The Department of the 
Interior, primarily the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, also 
received appropriations of several million dollars for coral 
reef programs in 2009.)
    The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $8 
million over the 2010-2014 period for community planning grants 
to states for coral reef research. CBO assumes that this 
authorization would be provided and spent roughly evenly over 
the five-year period.
    Finally, the bill would authorize NOAA to impose fees on 
permits to collect coral and to use such collections for 
research purposes, but only to the extent that such collections 
and spending are provided for in future appropriations Acts. 
CBO estimates that new offsetting collections from permit fees 
and associated spending would be negligible.
    Revenues and direct spending: Enacting H.R. 860 could 
increase both revenues and direct spending, but CBO estimates 
that any such changes would largely offset each other over the 
2010-2014 period.
    H.R. 860 would expand the protections afforded to coral 
reefs located in a national marine sanctuary or national parks 
to coral reefs in all U.S. waters. The bill would establish 
enforcement mechanisms such as penalties and asset forfeitures, 
and would make violators liable for damages to coral reefs and 
the costs of federal responses to accidents that harm coral. 
Based on information provided by NOAA on recent accidents that 
damaged coral reefs in national marine sanctuaries, CBO 
estimates that collecting additional penalties, damages, and 
cost reimbursements would increase revenues by about $1 million 
over the 2010-2014 period and by $2 million over the 2010-2019 
period.
    Amounts collected under H.R. 860 from civil penalties and 
other monetary collections would be available without further 
appropriation to DOI or NOAA (depending on the location of the 
damaged coral reef) for activities such as repairing and 
restoring damaged reefs. Criminal penalties would be deposited 
in and spent from the Crime Victims Fund. As a result, the 
collection and expenditure of fines and penalties under the 
bill would have no significant net impact in any year.
    Estimated intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 
860 contains intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA, but CBO estimates that the annual costs of 
those mandates would fall below the annual thresholds 
established in UMRA ($69 million for intergovernmental mandates 
and $139 million for private-sector mandates in 2009, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The bill would impose a private-sector mandate by making it 
unlawful for any person to destroy, cause the loss of, or 
injure any coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of 
the United States. In addition, persons that damage coral reefs 
would be liable for the restoration and response costs. 
Currently, only those coral reefs protected under separate 
legal authorities, such as those located within national marine 
sanctuaries, receive such protection. Based on information from 
NOAA, CBO estimates that the cost of complying with this 
mandate would not be significant.
    H.R. 860 also would authorized NOAA to issue permits for 
research activities that could affect coral reefs. If NOAA 
established a permit program that requires researchers, such as 
those at universities and other institutions (public and 
private), to obtain a permit to conduct research, that 
requirement would be an intergovernmental and private-sector 
mandate. CBO expects that few activities would likely be 
subject to the new permitting requirements and that the costs 
associated with obtaining permit would be low.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Aurora Swanson and 
Deborah Reis; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Ryan Miller; Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 860 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

CORAL REEF CONSERVATION ACT OF 2000

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--CORAL REEF CONSERVATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 202. PURPOSES.

  The purposes of this title are--
          (1) * * *
          (2) to promote the resilience of coral reef 
        ecosystems;
          [(2)] (3) to promote the wise management and 
        sustainable use of coral reef ecosystems to benefit 
        local communities and the Nation;
          [(3) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to 
        such ecosystems;]
          (4) to develop sound scientific information on the 
        condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to 
        such ecosystems including large-scale threats related 
        to climate change, such as ocean acidification, to 
        benefit local communities and the Nation, and to the 
        extent practicable to support and enhance management 
        and research capabilities at local management agencies 
        and local research and academic institutions;
          [(4)] (5) to assist in the preservation of coral 
        reefs by supporting conservation programs, including 
        projects that involve affected local communities and 
        nongovernmental organizations;
          [(5)] (6) to provide financial resources for those 
        programs and projects; [and]
          [(6)] (7) to establish a formal mechanism for 
        collecting and allocating monetary donations from the 
        private sector to be used for coral reef conservation 
        projects[.]; and
          (8) to recognize the benefits of healthy coral reefs 
        to island and coastal communities and to encourage 
        Federal action to ensure, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, the continued availability of those 
        benefits.

SEC. 203. NATIONAL CORAL REEF ACTION STRATEGY.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Goals and Objectives.--The action strategy shall include 
a statement of goals and objectives as well as an 
implementation plan, including a description of the funds 
obligated each fiscal year to advance coral reef conservation. 
The action strategy and implementation plan shall include 
discussion of--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(8) conservation, including how the use of marine 
        protected areas to serve as replenishment zones will be 
        developed consistent with local practices and 
        traditions.]
          (8) conservation, including resilience and the 
        consideration of island and local traditions and 
        practices.

SEC. 204. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION PROGRAM.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) [Geographic and Biological] Project Diversity.--The 
Administrator shall ensure that funding for grants awarded 
under subsection (b) during a fiscal year are distributed in 
the following manner:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(3) Remaining funds shall be awarded for projects 
        that address emerging priorities or threats, including 
        international priorities or threats, identified by the 
        Administrator. When identifying emerging threats or 
        priorities, the Administrator may consult with the 
        Coral Reef Task Force.]
          (3) Remaining funds shall be awarded for--
                  (A) projects (with priority given to 
                community-based local action strategies) that 
                address emerging priorities or threats, 
                including international and territorial 
                priorities, or threats identified by the 
                Administrator in consultation with the United 
                States Coral Reef Task Force; and
                  (B) other appropriate projects, as determined 
                by the Administrator, including monitoring and 
                assessment, research, pollution reduction, 
                education, and technical support.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Criteria for Approval.--The Administrator may not approve 
a project proposal under this section unless the project is 
consistent with the coral reef action strategy under section 
203 and will enhance the conservation of coral reefs by--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (9) developing and implementing cost-effective 
        methods to restore degraded coral reef ecosystems; [or]
          [(10) promoting ecologically sound navigation and 
        anchorages near coral reefs.]
          (10) promoting activities designed to minimize the 
        likelihood of vessel impacts on coral reefs, 
        particularly those areas identified under section 
        210(b), including the promotion of ecologically sound 
        navigation and anchorages near coral reefs;
          (11) improving and promoting the resilience of coral 
        reefs and coral reef ecosystems; or
          (12) promoting and assisting entities to work with 
        local communities, and all appropriate governmental and 
        nongovernmental organizations, to support community-
        based planning and management initiatives for the 
        protection of coral reef ecosystems.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (k) Multiyear Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator may 
enter into multiyear cooperative agreements with the heads of 
other Federal agencies, States, local governments, academic 
institutions, and non-governmental organizations to carry out 
the activities of the national coral reef action strategy 
developed under section 203 and to implement regional 
strategies developed pursuant to section 211.

SEC. 205. CORAL REEF CONSERVATION FUND.

  (a) Fund.--The Administrator may enter into an agreement with 
a nonprofit organization that promotes coral reef conservation 
authorizing such organization to receive, hold, and administer 
funds received pursuant to this section. The organization shall 
invest, reinvest, and otherwise administer the funds and 
maintain such funds and any interest or revenues earned in a 
separate interest bearing account, hereafter referred to as the 
Fund, established by such [organization solely to support 
partnerships between the public and private sectors that 
further the purposes of this Act and are consistent with the 
national coral reef action strategy under section 203.] 
organization--
          (1) to support partnerships between the public and 
        private sectors that further the purposes of this Act 
        and are consistent with the national coral reef 
        strategy under section 203; and
          (2) to address emergency response actions under 
        section 206.
  (b) Authorization To Solicit Donations.--Pursuant to an 
agreement entered into under subsection (a) of this section, an 
organization may accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, 
and use any gift to further the purposes of this title. Any 
moneys received as a gift shall be deposited and maintained in 
the Fund established by the organization under subsection (a). 
The organization is encouraged to solicit funding and in-kind 
services from the private sector, including nongovernmental 
organizations, for emergency response actions under section 206 
and for activities to prevent damage to coral reefs, including 
areas identified in section 210(b)(2).
  (c) Review of Performance.--The Administrator shall conduct a 
continuing review of [the grant program] any grant program or 
emergency response action administered by an organization under 
this section. Each review shall include a written assessment 
concerning the extent to which that organization has 
implemented the goals and requirements of this section and the 
national coral reef action strategy under section 203.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 206. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE.

  [The Administrator may make grants to any State, local, or 
territorial government agency with jurisdiction over coral 
reefs for emergencies to address unforeseen or disaster-related 
circumstance pertaining to coral reefs or coral reef 
ecosystems.]

SEC. 206. EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIONS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may undertake or authorize 
action necessary--
          (1) to minimize the destruction of or injury to a 
        coral reef, or loss of an ecosystem function of a coral 
        reef, from--
                  (A) vessel impacts, derelict fishing gear, 
                vessel anchors, and anchor chains; and
                  (B) from unforeseen or disaster-related 
                circumstances as a result of human activities; 
                and
          (2) to stabilize, repair, recover, or restore a coral 
        reef that is destroyed or injured, or that has incurred 
        the loss of an ecosystem function, as described in 
        paragraph (1).
  (b) Vessel Removal; Stabilization.--Action authorized by 
subsection (a) includes vessel removal and emergency 
stabilization of the vessel or any impacted coral reef.
  (c) Partnering With Other Federal and State Agencies.--When 
possible, action by the Administrator under this section 
should--
          (1) be conducted in partnership with other government 
        agencies as appropriate, including--
                  (A) the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, 
                the Environmental Protection Agency, and the 
                Department of the Interior; and
                  (B) agencies of States; and
          (2) leverage resources of other agencies.
  (d) Emergency Response Assistance by Other Federal and State 
Agencies.--
          (1) In general.--The head of any other Federal or 
        State agency may assist the Administrator in emergency 
        response actions under this section, using funds 
        available for operations of the agency concerned.
          (2) Reimbursement.--The Administrator, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations, may reimburse a Federal 
        or State agency for assistance provided under paragraph 
        (1).
  (e) Liability for Costs and Damages to Coral Reefs.--
          (1) Treatment of coral reefs under national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--For purposes of the provisions set 
        forth in paragraph (2), and subject to paragraph (5), 
        each of the terms ``sanctuary resources'', 
        ``resource'', ``sanctuary resource managed under law or 
        regulations for that sanctuary'', ``national marine 
        sanctuary'', ``sanctuary resources of the national 
        marine sanctuary'', and ``sanctuary resources of other 
        national marine sanctuaries'' is deemed to include any 
        coral reef that is subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States or any State, without regard to whether 
        such coral reef is located in a national marine 
        sanctuary.
          (2) Applicable provisions of national marine 
        sanctuaries act.--The provisions referred to in 
        paragraph (1) are the following provisions of the 
        National Marine Sanctuaries Act:
                  (A) Paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 302 (16 
                U.S.C. 1432).
                  (B) Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of 
                section 306 (16 U.S.C. 1436).
                  (C) Section 307 (16 U.S.C. 1437).
                  (D) Section 312 (16 U.S.C. 1443).
          (3) Exemptions.--The destruction, loss, or injury of 
        a coral reef or any component thereof is not unlawful 
        if it was--
                  (A) caused by the use of fishing gear in a 
                manner that is not prohibited under the 
                Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
                Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) or 
                other Federal or State law; or
                  (B) caused by an activity that is authorized 
                by Federal or State law, including any lawful 
                discharge from a vessel of graywater, cooling 
                water, engine exhaust, ballast water, or sewage 
                from a marine sanitation device, unless the 
                destruction, loss, or injury is a result of a 
                vessel grounding, a vessel scraping, anchor 
                damage, or excavation that is not authorized by 
                a Federal or State permit;
                  (C) the necessary result of bona fide marine 
                scientific research (including marine 
                scientific research activities approved by 
                Federal, State, or local permits), other than--
                          (i) sampling or collecting; and
                          (ii) destruction, loss, or injury 
                        that is a result of a vessel grounding, 
                        a vessel scraping, anchor damage, or 
                        excavation that is not authorized by a 
                        Federal or State permit; or
                  (D)(i) caused by a Federal Government agency 
                in?
                          (I) an emergency that posed an 
                        unacceptable threat to human health or 
                        safety or to the marine environment;
                          (II) an emergency that posed a threat 
                        to national security; or
                          (III) an activity necessary for law 
                        enforcement purposes or search and 
                        rescue; and
                  (ii) could not be avoided.
          (4) Clarification of liability.--A person is not 
        liable under this subsection if that person establishes 
        that--
                  (A) the destruction or loss of, or injury to, 
                the coral reef or coral reef ecosystem was 
                caused solely by an act of God, an act of war, 
                or an act of omission of a third party, and the 
                person acted with due care;
                  (B) the destruction, loss, or injury was 
                caused by an activity authorized by Federal or 
                State law; or
                  (C) the destruction, loss, or injury was 
                negligible.
          (5) State consent required.--
                  (A) In general.--This subsection shall not 
                apply to any coral reef that is subject to the 
                jurisdiction of a State unless the Governor of 
                that State notifies the Secretary that the 
                State consents to that application.
                  (B) Revocation of consent.--The governor of a 
                State may revoke consent under subparagraph (A) 
                by notifying the Secretary of such revocation.
          (6) Consistency with international laws and 
        treaties.--
                  (A) In general.--Any action taken under the 
                authority of this subsection must be consistent 
                with otherwise applicable international laws 
                and treaties.
                  (B) Actions authorized with respect to 
                vessels.--For purposes of subparagraph (A), 
                actions authorized under this subsection 
                include vessel removal, and emergency re-
                stabilization of a vessel and any coral reef 
                that is impacted by a vessel.
          (7) Liability under other provisions.--Nothing in 
        this title shall alter the liability of any person 
        under any other provision of law.

SEC. 207. NATIONAL PROGRAM.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Authorized Activities.--Activities authorized under 
subsection (a) include--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) providing assistance to States in removing 
        abandoned fishing gear, marine debris, and abandoned 
        vessels from coral reefs to conserve living marine 
        resources; [and]
          (4) [cooperative conservation] cooperative research, 
        conservation, and management of coral reefs and coral 
        reef ecosystems with local, regional, or international 
        programs and [partners.] partners, including academic 
        institutions located in States;
          (5) improving and promoting the resilience of coral 
        reefs and coral reef ecosystems;
          (6) activities designed to minimize the likelihood of 
        vessel impacts or other physical damage to coral reefs, 
        including those areas identified in section 210(b); and
          (7) centrally archiving, managing, and distributing 
        data sets and providing coral reef ecosystem 
        assessments and services to the general public with 
        local, regional, or international programs and 
        partners.
  (c) Data Archive, Access, and Availability.--The Secretary, 
in coordination with similar efforts at other Departments and 
agencies shall provide for the long-term stewardship of 
environmental data, products, and information via data 
processing, storage, and archive facilities pursuant to this 
title. The Secretary may--
          (1) archive environmental data collected by Federal, 
        State, local agencies and tribal organizations and 
        federally funded research;
          (2) promote widespread availability and dissemination 
        of environmental data and information through full and 
        open access and exchange to the greatest extent 
        possible, including in electronic format on the 
        Internet;
          (3) develop standards, protocols and procedures for 
        sharing Federal data with State and local government 
        programs and the private sector or academia; and
          (4) develop metadata standards for coral reef 
        ecosystems in accordance with Federal Geographic Data 
        Committee guidelines.

[SEC. 208. EFFECTIVENESS REPORTS.

  [(a) Grant Program.--Not later than 3 years after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives a report that documents the effectiveness of 
the grant program under section 204 in meeting the purposes of 
this title. The report shall include a State-by-State summary 
of Federal and non-Federal contributions toward the costs of 
each project.
  [(b) National Program.--Not later than 2 years after the date 
on which the Administrator publishes the national coral reef 
strategy under section 203 and every 2 years thereafter, the 
Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Resources of the House of Representatives a report describing 
all activities undertaken to implement that strategy, under 
section 203, including a description of the funds obligated 
each fiscal year to advance coral reef conservation.]

SEC. 208. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

  Not later than March 1, 2010, and every 5 years thereafter, 
the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report 
describing all activities undertaken to implement the strategy, 
including--
          (1) a description of the funds obligated by each 
        participating Federal agency to advance coral reef 
        conservation during each fiscal year of the 5-fiscal-
        year period preceding the fiscal year in which the 
        report is submitted;
          (2) a description of Federal interagency and 
        cooperative efforts with States and non-governmental 
        partner organizations to prevent or address 
        overharvesting, coastal runoff, or other anthropogenic 
        impacts on coral reef ecosystems, including projects 
        undertaken with the Department of the Interior, the 
        Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection 
        Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers;
          (3) a summary of the information contained in the 
        vessel grounding inventory established under section 
        210, including additional authorization or funding, 
        needed for response and removal of such vessels;
          (4) a description of Federal disaster response 
        actions taken pursuant to the National Response Plan to 
        address damage to coral reefs and coral reef 
        ecosystems; and
          (5) an assessment of the condition of United States 
        coral reefs, accomplishments under this Act, and the 
        effectiveness of management actions to address threats 
        to coral reefs, including actions taken to address 
        large-scale threats to coral reef ecosystems related to 
        climate change.

SEC. 209. COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING GRANTS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may make grants to 
entities that are eligible to receive grants under section 
204(c) to provide additional funds to such entities to work 
with local communities and through appropriate Federal and 
State entities to prepare and implement plans for the increased 
protection of coral reef areas identified by the community and 
scientific experts as high priorities for focused attention. 
The plans shall--
          (1) support attainment of one or more of the criteria 
        described in section 204(g);
          (2) be developed at the community level;
          (3) utilize where applicable watershed-based or 
        ecosystem-based approaches;
          (4) provide for coordination with Federal and State 
        experts and managers;
          (5) build upon local approaches or models, including 
        traditional or island-based resource management 
        concepts; and
          (6) complement local action strategies or regional 
        plans for coral reef conservation.
  (b) Terms and Conditions.--The provisions of subsections (b), 
(d), (f), and (h) of section 204 apply to grants under 
subsection (a), except that, for the purpose of applying 
section 204(b)(1) to grants under this section, ``75 percent'' 
shall be substituted for ``50 percent''.

SEC. 210. VESSEL GROUNDING INVENTORY.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator, in coordination with 
other Federal agencies, may maintain an inventory of all vessel 
grounding incidents involving coral reefs, including a 
description of--
          (1) the impacts to such resources;
          (2) vessel and ownership information, if available;
          (3) the estimated cost of removal, mitigation, or 
        restoration;
          (4) the response action taken by the owner, the 
        Administrator, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, or 
        other Federal or State agency representatives;
          (5) the status of the response action, including the 
        dates of vessel removal and mitigation or restoration 
        and any actions taken to prevent future grounding 
        incidents; and
          (6) recommendations for additional navigational aids 
        or other mechanisms for preventing future grounding 
        incidents.
  (b) Identification of at-Risk Reefs.--The Administrator may--
          (1) use information from any inventory maintained 
        under subsection (a) or any other available information 
        source to identify all coral reef areas that have a 
        high incidence of vessel impacts, including groundings 
        and anchor damage;
          (2) identify appropriate measures, including action 
        by other agencies, to reduce the likelihood of such 
        impacts; and
          (3) develop a strategy and timetable to implement 
        such measures, including cooperative actions with other 
        Government agencies and non-governmental partners.

SEC. 211. REGIONAL, STATE, AND TERRITORIAL COORDINATION.

  (a) Regional Coordination.--The Secretary and other Federal 
members of the United States Coral Reef Task Force shall work 
in coordination and collaboration with other Federal agencies 
and States to implement the strategies developed under section 
203, including regional and local strategies, to address 
multiple threats to coral reefs and coral reef ecosystems such 
as coastal runoff, vessel impacts, and overharvesting.
  (b) Response and Restoration Activities.--The Secretary shall 
enter into written agreements with any States in which coral 
reefs are located regarding the manner in which response and 
restoration activities will be conducted within the affected 
State's waters. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed 
to limit Federal response and restoration activity authority 
before any such agreement is final.
  (c) Cooperative Enforcement Agreements.--All cooperative 
enforcement agreements in place between the Secretary and 
States affected by this title shall be updated to include 
enforcement of this title where appropriate.

SEC. 212. AGREEMENTS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may execute and perform 
such contracts, leases, grants, or cooperative agreements as 
may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this title.
  (b) Cooperative Agreements.--In addition to the general 
authority provided by subsection (a), the Administrator may 
enter into, extend, or renegotiate agreements with universities 
and research centers with established management-driven 
national or regional coral reef research institutes to conduct 
ecological research and monitoring explicitly aimed at building 
capacity for more effective resource management. Pursuant to 
any such agreements these institutes shall--
          (1) collaborate directly with governmental resource 
        management agencies, non-profit organizations, and 
        other research organizations;
          (2) build capacity within resource management 
        agencies to establish research priorities, plan 
        interdisciplinary research projects and make effective 
        use of research results; and
          (3) conduct public education and awareness programs 
        for policy makers, resource managers, and the general 
        public on coral reef ecosystems, best practices for 
        coral reef and ecosystem management and conservation, 
        their value, and threats to their sustainability.
  (c) Use of Other Agencies' Resources.--For purposes related 
to the conservation, preservation, protection, restoration, or 
replacement of coral reefs or coral reef ecosystems and the 
enforcement of this title, the Administrator is authorized to 
use, with their consent and with or without reimbursement, the 
land, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of any 
Department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States, or 
of any State, local government, or Indian tribal government, or 
of any political subdivision thereof, or of any foreign 
government or international organization.

SEC. 213. INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF CONSERVATION STRATEGY.

  (a) International Coral Reef Ecosystem Strategy.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
        of enactment of the Coral Reef Conservation Act 
        Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments of 2009, the 
        Secretary shall submit to the Senate Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of 
        Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, and 
        publish in the Federal Register, an international coral 
        reef ecosystem strategy, consistent with the purposes 
        of this title and the national strategy required 
        pursuant to section 203(a). The Secretary shall 
        periodically review and revise this strategy as 
        necessary.
          (2) Contents.--The strategy developed by the 
        Secretary under paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) identify coral reef ecosystems throughout 
                the world that are of high value for United 
                States marine resources, that support high-seas 
                resources of importance to the United States 
                such as fisheries, or that support other 
                interests of the United States;
                  (B) summarize existing activities by Federal 
                agencies and entities described in subsection 
                (b) to address the conservation of coral reef 
                ecosystems identified pursuant to subparagraph 
                (A);
                  (C) establish goals, objectives, and specific 
                targets for conservation of priority 
                international coral reef ecosystems;
                  (D) describe appropriate activities to 
                achieve the goals and targets for international 
                coral reef conservation, in particular those 
                that leverage activities already conducted 
                under this title;
                  (E) develop a plan to coordinate 
                implementation of the strategy with entities 
                described in subsection (b) in order to 
                leverage current activities under this title 
                and other conservation efforts globally;
                  (F) identify appropriate partnerships, 
                grants, or other funding and technical 
                assistance mechanisms to carry out the 
                strategy; and
                  (G) develop criteria for prioritizing 
                partnerships under subsection (c).
  (b) Coordination.--In carrying out this section, the 
Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of State, the 
Administrator of the Agency for International Development, the 
Secretary of the Interior, and other relevant Federal agencies, 
and relevant United States stakeholders, and shall take into 
account coral reef ecosystem conservation initiatives of other 
nations, international agreements, and intergovernmental and 
nongovernmental organizations so as to provide effective 
cooperation and efficiencies in international coral reef 
conservation. The Secretary may consult with the United States 
Coral Reef Task Force in carrying out this subsection.
  (c) International Coral Reef Ecosystem Partnerships.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may establish an 
        international coral reef ecosystem partnership program 
        to provide support, including funding and technical 
        assistance, for activities that implement the strategy 
        developed pursuant to subsection (a).
          (2) Mechanisms.--The Secretary shall provide such 
        support through existing authorities, working in 
        collaboration with the entities described in subsection 
        (b).
          (3) Criteria for approval.--The Secretary may not 
        approve a partnership proposal under this section 
        unless the partnership is consistent with the 
        international coral reef conservation strategy 
        developed pursuant to subsection (a), and meets the 
        criteria specified in that strategy.
  (d) Priority for Certain Projects Conducted by States.--In 
implementing this section, the Secretary shall give priority 
consideration to regional initiatives and projects that States 
are participating in with other nations.

SEC. 214. PERMITS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator may, in accordance with 
this section and regulations issued under this title, issue a 
permit authorizing the conduct of bona fide research.
  (b) Exempt Activities.--No permit under this section is 
required for an activity that is exempt from liability under 
section 206(e).
  (c) Terms and Conditions.--The Administrator may place any 
terms and conditions on a permit issued under this section that 
the Administrator deems reasonable.
  (d) Fees.--
          (1) Assessment and collection.--Subject to 
        regulations issued under this title, the Administrator 
        may assess and collect fees as specified in this 
        subsection.
          (2) Amount.--Any fee assessed shall be equal to the 
        sum of--
                  (A) all costs incurred, or expected to be 
                incurred, by the Administrator in processing 
                the permit application, including indirect 
                costs; and
                  (B) if the permit is approved, all costs 
                incurred, or expected to be incurred, by the 
                Administrator as a direct result of the conduct 
                of the activity for which the permit is issued.
          (3) Use of fees.--Amounts collected by the 
        Administrator in the form of fees under this section 
        shall be collected and available for use only to the 
        extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts and 
        may be used by the Administrator for issuing and 
        administering permits under this section.
          (4) Waiver or reduction of fees.--For any fee 
        assessed under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the 
        Administrator may--
                  (A) accept in-kind contributions in lieu of a 
                fee; or
                  (B) waive or reduce the fee.
  (e) Fishing.--Nothing in this section shall be considered to 
require a person to obtain a permit under this section for the 
conduct of any fishing activity that is not prohibited by this 
title or regulations issued under this title.

SEC. 215. REGULATIONS; APPLICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL 
                    LAW.

  (a) Regulations.--The Administrator may issue such 
regulations as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the 
purposes of sections 206 and 214.
  (b) Relationship to International Law.-- This title and any 
regulations promulgated under this title shall be applied in 
accordance with international law. No restrictions shall apply 
to or be enforced against a person who is not a citizen, 
national, or resident alien of the United States (including 
foreign flag vessels) unless in accordance with international 
law.

SEC. 216. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

  (a) In General.--Judicial review of any action taken by the 
Secretary under this title shall be in accordance with sections 
701 through 706 of title 5, United States Code, except that--
          (1) review of any final agency action of the 
        Secretary taken under the authority of section 206(e) 
        may be had only by the filing of a complaint by an 
        interested person in the United States District Court 
        for the appropriate district within 30 days after the 
        date such final agency action is taken; and
          (2) review of the issuance or denial of a permit 
        under this title may be had only by the filing of a 
        petition for review by an interested person in the 
        Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States for the 
        District of Columbia Circuit or for the Federal 
        judicial district in which such person resides or 
        transacts business which is directly affected by the 
        action taken within 120 days after the date such final 
        agency action is taken.
  (b) Cost of Litigation.--In any judicial proceeding under 
subsection (a), the court may award costs of litigation 
(including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any 
prevailing party whenever it determines that such award is 
appropriate.

SEC. [209.] 217. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  [(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary to carry out this title $16,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, which may remain 
available until expended.]
  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Commerce to carry out this title $30,000,000 
for fiscal year 2010, $32,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, 
$34,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, and $35,000,000 for fiscal 
years 2013 and 2014.
  (b) Administration.--Of the amounts appropriated under 
subsection (a), not more than the lesser of [$1,000,000] 
$2,000,000 or 10 percent of the amounts appropriated, may be 
used for program administration or for overhead costs incurred 
by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the 
Department of Commerce and assessed as an administrative 
charge.
  [(c) Coral Reef Conservation Program.--From the amounts 
appropriated under subsection (a), there shall be made 
available to the Secretary $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for coral reef conservation 
activities under section 204.
  [(d) National Coral Reef Activities.--From the amounts 
appropriated under subsection (a), there shall be made 
available to the Secretary $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 for activities under section 207.]
  (c) Community-Based Planning Grants.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out section 209, 
$8,000,000 for fiscal years 2010 through 2014, to remain 
available until expended.
  (d) Department of the Interior.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this 
title $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013.

SEC. [210.] 218. DEFINITIONS.

  In this title:
          [(1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means 
        the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration.
          [(2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means 
        the use of methods and procedures necessary to preserve 
        or sustain corals and associated species as diverse, 
        viable, and self-perpetuating coral reef ecosystems, 
        including all activities associated with resource 
        management, such as assessment, conservation, 
        protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
        management of habitat; mapping; habitat monitoring; 
        assistance in the development of management strategies 
        for marine protected areas and marine resources 
        consistent with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 
        U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
        Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et 
        seq.); law enforcement; conflict resolution 
        initiatives; community outreach and education; and that 
        promote safe and ecologically sound navigation.
          [(3) Coral.--The term ``coral'' means species of the 
        phylum Cnidaria, including--
                  [(A) all species of the orders Antipatharia 
                (black corals), Scleractinia (stony corals), 
                Gorgonacea (horny corals), Stolonifera 
                (organpipe corals and others), Alcyanacea (soft 
                corals), and Coenothecalia (blue coral), of the 
                class Anthozoa; and
                  [(B) all species of the order Hydrocorallina 
                (fire corals and hydrocorals) of the class 
                Hydrozoa.
          [(4) Coral reef.--The term ``coral reef'' means any 
        reefs or shoals composed primarily of corals.
          [(5) Coral reef ecosystem.--The term ``coral reef 
        ecosystem'' means coral and other species of reef 
        organisms (including reef plants) associated with coral 
        reefs, and the nonliving environmental factors that 
        directly affect coral reefs, that together function as 
        an ecological unit in nature.]
          (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator''--
                  (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
                means the Administrator of the National Oceanic 
                and Atmospheric Administration; and
                  (B) in sections 206, 209, 212, 214, and 215, 
                means the Secretary of the Interior for 
                purposes of application of those sections to 
                national park units and national wildlife 
                refuges.
          (2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means 
        the use of methods and procedures that are necessary to 
        preserve or sustain coral reefs and associated species 
        as resilient diverse, viable, and self-perpetuating 
        coral reef ecosystems, including--
                  (A) all activities associated with resource 
                management, such as assessment, conservation, 
                protection, restoration, sustainable use, and 
                management of habitat;
                  (B) mapping;
                  (C) monitoring of coral reef ecosystems;
                  (D) development and implementation of 
                management strategies for marine protected area 
                or networks thereof and marine resources 
                consistent with the National Marine Sanctuaries 
                Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) and the Magnuson-
                Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
                (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.);
                  (E) law enforcement;
                  (F) conflict resolution initiatives;
                  (G) community outreach and education; and
                  (H) activities that promote safe and 
                ecologically sound navigation.
          (3) Coral.--The term ``coral'' means species of the 
        phylum Cnidaria, including--
                  (A) all species of the orders Antipatharia 
                (black corals), Scleractinia (stony corals), 
                Gorgonacea (horny corals), Stolonifera (organ-
                pipe corals and others), Alcyonacea (soft 
                corals), and Helioporacea (blue coral), of the 
                class Anthozoa; and
                  (B) all species of the families Milleporidae 
                (fire corals) and Stylasteridae (stylasterid 
                hydrocorals), of the class Hydrozoa.
          (4) Coral reef.--The term ``coral reef'' means a 
        limestone structure composed in whole or in part of 
        living zooxanthellate stony corals (Class Anthozoa, 
        Order Scleractinia), their skeletal remains, or both.
          (5) Coral reef ecosystem.--The term ``coral reef 
        ecosystem'' means a system of coral reefs and 
        geographically associated species, habitats, and 
        environment, including mangroves and seagrass habitats, 
        and the processes that control its dynamics.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) Coral reef component.--The term ``coral reef 
        component'' means any part of a coral reef, including 
        individual living or dead corals, associated sessile 
        invertebrates and plants, and any adjacent or 
        associated seagrasses.
          [(7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of Commerce.]
          (8) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary''--
                  (A) except as provided in subparagraphs (B) 
                and (C), means the Secretary of Commerce;
                  (B) in section 206(e), means--
                          (i) the Secretary of the Interior, 
                        with respect to any coral reef or 
                        component thereof that is located in--
                                  (I) any unit of the National 
                                Park System;
                                  (II) any unit of the National 
                                Wildlife Refuge System; or
                                  (III) any Marine National 
                                Monument designated under any 
                                of the Fish and Wildlife 
                                Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 
                                et seq.), the Fish and Wildlife 
                                Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a et 
                                seq.), the Fish and Wildlife 
                                Improvement Act of 1978 (16 
                                U.S.C. 695j-1 et seq) and the 
                                provisions of law enacted by 
                                that Act, and the Act of June 
                                8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225; 16 
                                U.S.C. 431) (popularly known as 
                                the ``Antiquities Act'') and 
                                that is under the 
                                administrative jurisdiction of 
                                the Secretary of the Interior; 
                                and
                          (ii) the Secretary of Commerce, with 
                        respect to any other coral reef or 
                        component thereof that is located in 
                        any Marine National Monument designated 
                        under a law referred to in clause 
                        (i)(III); and
                  (C) in sections 203, means the Secretary of 
                Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior.
          [(8)] (9) State.--The term ``State'' means any State 
        of the United States that contains a coral reef 
        ecosystem within its seaward boundaries, American 
        Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, 
        and the Virgin Islands, and any other territory or 
        possession of the United States, or separate sovereign 
        in free association with the United States, that 
        contains a coral reef ecosystem within its seaward 
        boundaries.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


FISH AND WILDLIFE COORDINATION ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  Sec. 8. The terms ``wildlife'' and ``wildlife resources'' as 
used herein include birds, fishes, mammals, and all other 
classes of wild animals and all types of aquatic and land 
vegetation upon which wildlife is dependent, including coral 
reef ecosystems (as such term is defined in section 218 of the 
Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000) located in any unit of the 
National Park System, any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System, or any Marine National Monument designated under the 
Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225; 16 U.S.C. 431) (popularly 
known as the ``Antiquities Act'').

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 has been a good model 
for natural resource conservation with a focus on locally-
developed and locally-driven solutions.
    There are two primary authorities within the Act--to fund a 
coral reef program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), an agency within the Department of 
Commerce, and to provide grants to those States and territories 
that have coral reefs within their waters. These grants allowed 
for the development of Local Action Strategies that were 
created by the local jurisdictions and identified threats to 
coral reefs and solutions to those threats. This local input 
allowed each entity to focus future funding on their specific 
needs. Through these Local Action Strategies, approximately 760 
projects have been identified to address eight categories of 
threats. Almost 65 percent of the projects are already being 
implemented and funding has been secured for almost 40 percent 
of the identified needs. By allowing the plans to be developed 
at the local level, this Act has focused funds where they are 
needed and actions are based on identifiable threats specific 
to that jurisdiction.
    Despite this history of success of the Act, some have 
argued that more regulation of activities that affect coral 
reefs is necessary. In addition, concern has been raised that 
the Department of the Interior, while not having any formal 
role under the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, has funded 
coral reef conservation efforts through other authorities and 
should have a formal role under the Act. In addition, the 
Office of Insular Affairs within the Department of the Interior 
has a close relationship with the territories and freely 
associated states where much of the coral reef conservation 
activity is located. The issue of whether to, and how to, 
include the Department of the Interior's activities in the Act 
has been partially responsible for the delay in implementing a 
reauthorization of the Act for two Congresses.
    This authority in the 2000 Act for local entities to 
address coral reef conservation along with a national program 
to fund these activities and national coral reef research has 
worked well. However, some threats have been identified that 
needed national solutions, such as vessel groundings on 
sensitive coral reefs and damage from natural sources such as 
hurricanes. While the current Act allowed NOAA to create a 
national program, it did not give NOAA, or any other agency, 
the authority to react quickly to these threats to coral reefs 
when timely action could minimize or prevent further damage to 
the reefs.
    H.R. 860, the Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization 
and Enhancement Amendments of 2009 would address this concern 
by giving NOAA an emergency response authority for vessel 
groundings or natural disaster, authority to stabilize a vessel 
or the coral reef itself in the event of a ship strike, 
authority for inventory on ship strikes--to identify problem 
vessels or companies--and to identify particular at-risk coral 
reefs which might be subject to repeated groundings, and the 
authority to partner and coordinate with other agencies to 
maximize the effectiveness of the Federal response. In 
addition, the legislation codifies the U.S. Coral Reef Task 
Force which was created by Executive Order in 1998.
    More problematic, as introduced, H.R. 860, would create a 
new role for the Department of the Interior consistent with the 
new authorities the bill would create for NOAA. The legislation 
would place coral reefs on a higher protection level than other 
marine creatures by adding coral reefs to the list of those 
resources protected by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. 
This change in the status for coral reefs also would create a 
broad, new permitting program at both NOAA and the Department 
of the Interior. Concern was heard that this broad, new 
authority would extend the reach of the Act to activities--even 
inland activities--that were already permitted under other 
authorities and which only had indirect effects on coral reefs. 
The new permitting provision would allow NOAA or the Department 
of the Interior to collect fees based on the cost of the permit 
and additional costs such as monitoring of the activity's 
effects of coral reefs and for educating the public about the 
activity. The authority to charge permittees for a broad rage 
of things could create a situation where the costs of obtaining 
the permit would discourage permits.
    Moreover, because the legislation would elevate the status 
of all coral reefs, the liability standards in the National 
Marine Sanctuaries Act would apply to activities that damage, 
injure or cause the loss of coral reefs. In addition, a 
judicial review provision in the bill would subject many 
existing and new activities, and the decision to permit such 
activities, to litigation. The legislation also would allow 
litigants to recover both attorney fees and expert witness 
fees, both of which would likely encourage litigation and 
reduce the amount of funding available for coral reef 
conservation.
    The legislation also would give the Department of the 
Interior broad new authority by amending fish and wildlife 
statutes and adding ``coral reef ecosystems'' to the definition 
of ``wildlife.'' This method of including the Department of the 
Interior would give the Department authority to manage coral 
reef ecosystems--that under H.R. 860 would also include 
mangroves and sea grasses--wherever they occur. This would 
allow the Department to create a duplicate management, 
research, and regulatory structure parallel to that which is 
authorized under H.R. 860 for NOAA.
    Finally, the legislation, as introduced, would require the 
creation of a new International Coral Reef Conservation 
Program, a new international coral reef ecosystem strategy, and 
a new international coral reef ecosystem partnership program 
which would fund coral reef projects outside of U.S. waters. 
While coordination of coral reef conservation activities is 
important, Members expressed concern with spending U.S. 
taxpayer money on projects outside the U.S.
    The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, successfully 
offered by the Subcommitteeon Insular Affairs, Oceans and 
Wildlife Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo (who is also the author 
of the bill), made a number of very positive changes to the 
bill. The most significant of these is the clarification that 
activities which are authorized under State or federal law are 
not unlawful, are not subject to liability for coral reef 
damage, and do not need permits. The permit authority now 
applies only to the issuance of bona fide research activities. 
In addition, the authority for the Department of the Interior 
was limited to those areas already under the Department's 
jurisdiction where coral reefs are located such as National 
Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Marine 
Monuments. While the concern about adding coral reef ecosystems 
to the definition of wildlife still remains in the legislation, 
this narrowing of the Department's authority to those areas 
already under the Department's jurisdiction makes this 
provision less objectionable. The amendment also removed the 
requirements for some of the new international programs and 
gave priority for the funding of international projects to 
those in which States or territories are partners. These 
changes represent positive changes to the legislation.
    However, in light of this legislation adding new 
authorities for both NOAA and the Department of the Interior, 
there are still some areas that could result in over-reach or 
unintended consequences by the agencies in implementing these 
new authorities. The issue of judicial review and the authority 
for lawyers and expert witnesses to receive payment will 
certainly lead to funds being taken away from coral reef 
conservation and used to finance further lawsuits against the 
federal government. At hearings held over the last few years, 
agencies have testified on several occasions about how much 
staff time and funding were being used to respond to lawsuits. 
Adding additional opportunities for such lawsuits does not help 
natural resource management activities.
    In addition, some terms redefined by H.R. 860 have the 
potential to expand the reach of federal oversight beyond what 
might be intended by the authors. For example, the addition of 
mangroves and seagrasses to the definition of coral reef 
ecosystem will expand the reach of NOAA and the Department of 
the Interior into new geographical areas, and where ``coral 
reef'' is used in other statutes, these plant species could be 
subject to regulation. Along those lines, the definitions of 
coral reef and coral reef component include ``skeletal 
remains'' and ``living or dead corals'' which could be used to 
expand provisions of the legislation to large areas which may 
no longer have living corals. Restrictions or refinements of 
these definitions would limit these concerns. Finally, 
referencing provisions of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act 
rather than putting these specific provision in the Act due to 
potential jurisdictional concerns may cause problems as the 
National Marine Sanctuaries Act is modified either in this or 
later Congresses.
    While the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute has 
addressed many of our concerns and made this legislation 
appreciably better, we remain concerned about the added scope 
H.R. 860 will give to the agencies charged with implementing 
the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000.

                                   Doc Hastings.
                                   Don Young.
                                   Bill Cassidy.