21 Dec 2005

US Senate approves more money to protect Pacific Island coral reefs

11:25 am on 21 December 2005

Programmes to protect coral reefs in United States Pacific Islands will get a major funding boost under a bill passed by the US Senate.

The legislation almost doubles the annual funding for coral reef conservation through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to $30 million US dollars for the fiscal year 2006, and raises that to 35 million for the fiscal years, 2009-2012.

The bill also supports a new community-based planning grant programme to help areas develop coral protection schemes that are rooted in local tradition and culture.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides grants to seven jurisdictions: Hawai'i, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.