Keep Florida Fishing Praises Congresswoman Bordallo and Florida’s congressional cosponsors for introducing the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.)Keep Florida Fishing, (KFF) an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association, today praised Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) and bipartisan members of Florida’s congressional delegation who cosponsored the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5996). Florida U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (D-14), Charlie Crist (D-13), Alcee L. Hastings (D-20), Brian J. Mast (R-18), John Rutherford (R-4), Darren Soto (D-9), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-23) signed onto the measure which will improve conservation and restoration of coral reefs nationwide.

Introduced on Tuesday, June 5, the bill will update the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, which expired in 2004, and will improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.

“Thank you Congresswoman Bordallo and Florida Representatives Castor, Crist, Hastings, Mast, Rutherford, Soto and Wasserman Schultz for supporting healthy coral reefs. Coral reefs are iconic in Florida and vital for maintaining sustainable fisheries for the state’s more than three million visiting and resident anglers. The current challenges affecting our reefs require new and innovative approaches to ensure they are around for years to come, and the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act provides the direction and funding to make that happen. Keep Florida Fishing fully supports the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act and looks forward to helping ensure Florida anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both,” said Kellie Ralston, Florida Fisheries Policy Director of the American Sportfishing Association.

According to the American Sportfishing Association, the Coral Reef Conservation Reauthorization Act would:

• Emphasize active conservation and restoration strategies to increase the overall health and resilience of coral reefs;
• Ensure marine protected areas (MPAs) related to NOAA’s coral reef program are based on sound science, only applied when necessary and in consultation with states and stakeholders; and
• Help combat the invasive lionfish, which is a high-profile and serious problem throughout the Gulf of Mexico, western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

More information can also be found in Congresswoman Bordallo’s June 5 press release.