Executive Order 13178

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Signed by President  William J. Clinton  Monday, December 4, 2000 Federal Register  page & date: 65 FR 76903, Thursday, December 7, 2000
See the Notes section for a listing of Executive Orders affected by or related to the issuance of this Executive Order.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), and the National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000, Public Law 106-513, and in furtherance of the purposes of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.), Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1362 et seq.), Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee), and other pertinent statutes, it is ordered as follows:


Section 1.  Preamble.

The world’s coral reefs—the rain forests of the sea—are in serious decline. These important and sensitive areas of biodiversity warrant special protection. While United States waters contain approximately 3 percent of the world’s coral reefs, approximately 70 percent of U.S. coral reefs are in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The 3.5 million acres of coral reefs around the remote, mostly uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are spectacular and almost undisturbed by humans. The approximately 1,200 mile stretch of coral islands, seamounts, banks, and shoals are unquestionably some of the healthiest and most extensive coral reefs in the United States. In their own right, the spectacular coral reefs and lands provide an amazing geological record of volcanic and erosive powers that have shaped this area. This vast area supports a dynamic reef ecosystem that supports more than 7,000 marine species, of which approximately half are unique to the Hawaiian Island chain. This incredibly diverse ecosystem is home to many species of coral, fish, birds, marine mammals, and other flora and fauna including the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the threatened green sea turtle, and the endangered leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. In addition, this area has great cultural significance to Native Hawaiians as well as linkages to early Polynesian culture—making it additionally worthy of protection and understanding. This is truly a unique and special place, a coral reef ecosystem like no place on earth, and a source of pride, inspiration, and satisfaction for all Americans, especially the people of Hawaii. It is fully worthy of our best efforts to preserve a legacy of America’s natural wonders for future generations. Due to the special significance of this area, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our Nation, and of future generations, to provide strong and lasting protection for the coral reef ecosystem of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
On May 26, 2000, I directed the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior, working cooperatively with the State of Hawaii and consulting with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, to develop recommendations for a new, coordinated management regime to increase protection of the coral reef ecosystem of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and provide for sustainable use of the area. Upon consideration of their recommendations and comments received during the public visioning process on this initiative, and based on the statutory authorities set forth above, I am issuing this Executive Order.


Sec. 2.  Purpose.

The purpose of this Executive Order is to ensure the comprehensive, strong, and lasting protection of the coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species (resources) of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.


Sec. 3.  Establishment of Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve.

There is hereby established in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a coral reef ecosystem reserve to be known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (Reserve). The Reserve shall include submerged lands and waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, extending approximately 1,200 nautical miles (nm) long and 100nm wide. The Reserve shall be adjacent to and seaward of the seaward boundaries of the State of Hawaii and the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, and shall overlay the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge to the extent that it extends beyond the seaward boundaries of the State of Hawaii. The boundaries of the Reserve are described in section 6 of this order.


Sec. 4.  Management Principles.

The Secretary of Commerce, or his designee, (hereafter ‘‘Secretary’’) shall, subject to section 10(b) of this order, manage the Reserve in accordance with the following principles:
(a)   The principal purpose of the Reserve is the long-term conservation and protection of the coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in their natural character;
(b)   The Reserve shall be managed using available science and applying a precautionary approach with resource protection favored when there is a lack of information regarding any given activity, to the extent not contrary to law;
(c)   Culturally significant, noncommercial subsistence, cultural, and religious uses by Native Hawaiians should be allowed within the Reserve, consistent with applicable law and the long-term conservation and protection of Reserve resources;
(d)   The Reserve shall be managed using, when appropriate, geographical zoning and innovative management techniques to ensure that the Reserve resources are protected from degradation or harm;
(e)   To the extent consistent with the primary purpose of the Reserve, the Reserve shall be managed to support, promote, and coordinate appropriate scientific research and assessment, and long-term monitoring of Reserve resources, and the impacts or threats thereto from human and other activities, to help better understand, protect, and conserve these resources and species for future generations;
(f)   To the extent consistent with the primary purpose of the Reserve, the Reserve shall be managed to enhance public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Reserve resources, and the impacts or threats thereto from human and other activities;
(g)   The Reserve shall be managed to further restoration and remediation of degraded or injured Reserve resources; and
(h)   The Reserve shall be managed to facilitate coordinated management among Federal and State agencies and other entities, as appropriate, to provide comprehensive (looking beyond jurisdictional boundaries) conservation of the coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species throughout the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, consistent with applicable authorities and the Management Principles of this section.


Sec. 5.  Implementation.

(a)   Management of the Reserve. The Secretary shall manage the Reserve under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and in accordance with this order.
(b)   Reserve Operations Plan. The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor of Hawaii, shall develop an operations plan to govern the management of the Reserve. In developing the Reserve Operations Plan the Secretary shall consider the advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council established pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. The Reserve Operations Plan shall be directed at priority issues and actions that, at a minimum, provide for:
(1)   Coordinated management among the Reserve, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, and the State of Hawaii, consistent with relevant authorities;
(2)   Coordination among Federal agencies and the Director of the National Science Foundation to make vessels and other resources available for conservation and research activities for the Reserve;
(3)   The cleanup and prevention of marine debris in the Reserve;
(4)   The restoration or remediation of any degraded or injured resources of the Reserve;
(5)   Research, monitoring, and assessment of the Reserve;
(6)   Education and outreach about the Reserve and its resources and efforts to conserve them;
(7)   Enforcement and surveillance for the Reserve, including the use of new technologies and coordination with the United States Coast Guard and other relevant agencies;
(8)   Identification and coordination with Native Hawaiian interests, regarding culturally significant, noncommercial subsistence, cultural, and religious uses and locations within the Reserve;
(9)   Identification of potential tourism, recreational, and commercial activities within the Reserve and actions necessary to ensure that these activities do not degrade the Reserve’s resources or diminish the Reserve’s natural character;
(10)   Use of vessel monitoring systems for any vessel entering or transiting the Reserve, if warranted. To this end, the Secretary in consultation with the Department of State, United States Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense, shall evaluate the need for the establishment of vessel monitoring systems and, if warranted, shall initiate the steps necessary to have the appropriate domestic agencies, and request that the International Maritime Organization, adopt a vessel monitoring system requirement for the Reserve;
(11)   Any regulations, in addition to the conservation measures and Reserve Preservation Areas established under this order, that the Secretary determines are necessary to manage the Reserve in accordance with this order; and
(12)   Coordination of all relevant activities with the process to designate the Reserve as a National Marine Sanctuary, as provided under paragraph (f) of this section.
(c)   Conservation Measures. The Reserve Operations Plan shall also include the conservation measures in section 7 of this order and the Reserve Preservation Areas in section 8 of this order.
(d)   Memorandum of Agreement. To further paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and subject to section 10(b) of this order, and in particular to promote coordinated management of the entirety of the shallow areas of the coral reef ecosystem throughout the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the Secretary shall work with the Secretary of the Interior and Governor of the State of Hawaii to enter into one or more memoranda of agreement for the coordinated conservation and management of the Reserve, Midway Atoll and Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuges, and State of Hawaii submerged lands and waters within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
(e)   National Marine Sanctuary. The Secretary shall initiate the process to designate the Reserve as a national marine sanctuary pursuant to sections 303 and 304 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1433, 1434). In doing so the Secretary shall supplement or complement the existing Reserve. The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Governor of the State of Hawaii, determine whether State submerged lands and waters should be included as part of the sanctuary. In designating and managing the sanctuary, the Secretary shall consider the advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council established pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.
(f)   Council. After considering input from the Secretary of the Interior and Governor of the State of Hawaii, the Secretary shall establish a Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Council pursuant to section 315 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1445a) to provide advice and recommendations on the Reserve Operations Plan and designation and management of any sanctuary. The Council shall include:
(1)   Three Native Hawaiian representatives, including one Native Hawaiian elder, with experience or knowledge regarding Native Hawaiian subsistence, cultural, religious, or other activities in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
(2)   Three representatives from the non-Federal science community with experience specific to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and with expertise in at least one of the following areas:
 
(A)   Marine mammal science.
(B)   Coral reef ecology.
(C)   Native marine flora and fauna of the Hawaiian Islands.
(D)   Oceanography.
(E)   Any other scientific discipline the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
(3)   Three representatives from nongovernmental wildlife/marine life, environmental, and/or conservation organizations.
(4)   One representative from the commercial fishing industry that conducts activities in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
(5)   One representative from the recreational fishing industry that conducts activities in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
(6)   One representative from the ocean-related tourism industry.
(7)   One representative from the non-Federal community with experience in education and outreach regarding marine conservation issues.
(8)   One citizen-at-large representative.
(9)   One representative from the State of Hawaii as appointed by the Governor.
(10)   One representative each, as nonvoting, ex officio members, from the Department of the Interior, United States Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Department of State, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, National Science Foundation, Marine Mammal Commission, and Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
(g)   Report. The Secretary shall provide a progress report on the implementation of this order to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality within 1 year from the date of this order.


Sec. 6.  Area of the Reserve.

The Reserve includes the waters and submerged lands of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as follows:
(a)   The seaward boundary of the Reserve is 50nm from the approximate center geographical positions of Nihoa Island, Necker Island, French Frigate Shoals, Gardner Pinnacles, Maro Reef, Laysan Island, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Reef, Midway Atoll, and Kure Island. Where the areas are not contiguous, parallel lines drawn tangent to and connecting those semicircles of the 50nm areas that lie around such areas shall delimit the remainder of the Reserve.
(b)   The inland boundary of the Reserve around each of the areas named in subparagraph (a) of this section is the seaward boundary of Hawaii State waters and submerged lands, and the seaward boundary of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, as appropriate.
(c)   The Reserve boundary is generally depicted on the map attached to this order. The Secretary, after consultation with the Governor of the State of Hawaii, may make technical modifications to the boundary of the Reserve, including providing straight-line boundaries for the Reserve for clarity and ease of identification, as appropriate.


Sec. 7.  Protection and Conservation Measures.

The conservation measures in this section apply throughout the Reserve.
(a)  
(1)   Commercial Fishing. All currently existing commercial Federal fishing permits and current levels of fishing effort and take, as determined by the Secretary and pursuant to regulations in effect on the date of this order, shall be capped as follows:
 
(A)   No commercial fishing may occur in Reserve Preservation Areas pursuant to section 8 of this order;
(B)   There shall be no increase in the number of permits of any particular type of fishing (such as for bottomfishing) beyond the number of permits of that type in effect the year preceding the date of this order;
(C)   The annual level of aggregate take under all permits of any particular type of fishing may not exceed the aggregate level of take under all permits of that type of fishing in the years preceding the date of this order, as determined by the Secretary, provided that the Secretary shall equitably divide the aggregate level into individual levels per permit, and further provided that the Secretary may make a one-time reasonable increase to the total aggregate to allow for the use of two Native Hawaiian bottomfishing permits;
(D)   There shall be no permits issued for any particular type of fishing for which there were no permits issued in the year preceding the date of this order; and
(E)   The type of fishing gear used by any permit holder may not be changed except with the permission of the Secretary, as provided under paragraph 3 of this section.
(2)   Recreational Fishing. All currently existing (preceding the date of this order) levels of recreational fishing effort, as determined by the Secretary and pursuant to regulations in effect on the day of this order, shall be capped (i.e., no increase of take levels or levels of fishing effort, species targeted, or change in gear types) throughout the Reserve. However, fishing is further restricted as provided in section 8 of this order.
(3)   The Secretary, after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and Governor of the State of Hawaii, and after public review and comment and consideration of any advice or recommendations of the Reserve Council and Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, may further restrict the fishing activities under subparagraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section if necessary to protect Reserve resources, or may authorize or require alternate gear types if such gear would offer equal or greater protection for Reserve resources.
(b)   In addition to the conservation measures in paragraph (a) of this section, the following activities are prohibited throughout the Reserve:
 
(1)   Exploring for, developing, or producing oil, gas, or minerals;
(2)   Having a vessel anchored on any living or dead coral with an anchor, an anchor chain, or an anchor rope when visibility is such that the seabed can be seen;
(3)   Drilling into, dredging, or otherwise altering the seabed; or constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the seabed, except as an incidental result of anchoring vessels;
(4)   Discharging or depositing any material or other matter into the Reserve, or discharging or depositing any material or other matter outside the Reserve that subsequently enters the Reserve and injures any resource of the Reserve, except fish parts (i.e., chumming material or bait) used in and during authorized fishing operations, or discharges incidental to vessel use such as deck wash, approved marine sanitation device effluent, cooling water, and engine exhaust; and
(5)   Removal, moving, taking, harvesting, or damaging any living or nonliving Reserve resources, except as provided under paragraph (a) of this section and sections 8(a) and 9 of this order.
(c)   The Secretary may conduct, or authorize by permit the activities listed in subparagraphs (b)(3)-(5) of this section to the extent that they are necessary for research, monitoring, education, or management activities that further the Management Principles of section 4 of this order.


Sec. 8.  Reserve Preservation Areas.

(a)   To further protect Reserve resources, the following areas are hereby established as Reserve Preservation Areas until some or all are made permanent after adequate public review and comment, within which all activities referred to in paragraph (b) of this section are prohibited.
 
(1)   From the seaward boundary of Hawaii State waters and submerged lands to a mean depth of 100 fathoms (fm) around:
 
(A)   Nihoa Island, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 10fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(B)   Necker Island, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 20fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(C)   French Frigate Shoals;
(D)   Gardner Pinnacles, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 10fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(E)   Maro Reef, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 20fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(F)   Laysan Island, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 50fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(G)   Lisianski Island, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue seaward of a mean depth of 50fm, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(H)   Pearl and Hermes Atoll; and
(I)   Kure Island.
(2)   Twelve nautical miles around the approximate geographical centers of:
 
(A)   The first bank immediately east of French Frigate Shoals;
(B)   Southeast Brooks Bank, which is the first bank immediately west of French Frigate Shoals, provided that the closure area shall not be closer than approximately 3nm of the next bank immediately west;
(C)   St. Rogatien Bank, provided that the closure area shall not be closer than approximately 3nm of the next bank immediately east, provided further that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment;
(D)   The first bank west of St. Rogatien Bank, east of Gardner Pinnacles;
(E)   Raita Bank; and
(F)   Pioneer Bank, provided that bottomfishing in accordance with the requirements of section 7(a)(1) of this order shall be allowed to continue, unless and until the Secretary determines otherwise after adequate public review and comment.
(b)   Activities Prohibited Within Reserve Preservation Areas.
(1)   In addition to the conservation measures in section 7 of this order, which are applicable to the entire Reserve, the following activities are prohibited within the Reserve Preservation Areas listed in paragraph (a) of this section, except as expressly otherwise stated in this paragraph and sections (8)(a) and 9 of this order:
 
(A)   Commercial and recreational fishing;
(B)   Anchoring in any area that contains available mooring buoys, or anchoring outside an available anchoring area when such area has been designated by the Secretary;
(C)   Any type of touching or taking of living or dead coral;
(D)   Discharging or depositing any material or other matter except cooling water or engine exhaust; and
(E)   Such other activities that the Secretary identifies after adequate public review and comment, and after consideration of any advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council.
(2)   Notwithstanding the prohibitions in this paragraph, the Secretary may conduct, or authorize by permit, research, monitoring, education, or management activities within any Reserve Preservation Area that further the Management Principles of section 4 of this order.
(3)   The Reserve Preservation Areas in this section are approximated using fathoms. The Secretary will develop straight line boundaries based on longitude and latitude coordinates to encompass each Reserve Preservation Area, to provide for clarity and ease of identification. The Secretary may make technical modifications to any such boundaries.


Sec. 9.  Native Hawaiian Uses.

Native Hawaiian noncommercial subsistence, cultural, or religious uses may continue, to the extent consistent with existing law, within the Reserve and Reserve Preservation Areas identified under section 8 of this order. The Secretary shall work with Native Hawaiian interests to identify those areas where such Native Hawaiian uses of the Reserve’s resources may be conducted without injury to the Reserve’s coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species, and may revise the areas where such activities may occur after public review and comment, and consideration of any advice and recommendations of the Reserve Council.


Sec. 10.  National Wildlife Refuges.

(a)   The Secretary of the Interior, in managing, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the Hawaiian Islands and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuges pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and other applicable laws, shall follow the Management Principles of section 4 of this order, to the extent consistent with applicable law.
(b)   Wherever the Reserve overlaps the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the Reserve shall be managed to supplement and complement management of the Refuge to ensure coordinated conservation and management of the Reserve and the Refuge, consistent with the purposes and policies of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000, and this order, and the authorities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and other laws with respect to management of the Refuge. Nothing in this order shall enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction or authority of the Secretary or Secretary of the Interior in managing the Reserve or Refuge, respectively.
(c)   The Secretary of the Interior, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, shall coordinate with the Secretary and the Governor of the State of Hawaii, as provided under section 5(b) of this order, to ensure coordinated protection and management among the Reserve, Refuges, and State, consistent with relevant authorities.


Sec. 11.  Administration and Judicial Review.

(a)   International Law. Management of the Reserve and any regulations issued pursuant thereto and all other provisions of this order shall be applied consistently with the 1983 Presidential Proclamation on the Exclusive Economic Zone, the 1988 Presidential Proclamation on the Territorial Sea, and the 1999 Presidential Proclamation on Contiguous Zone and in accordance with generally recognized principles of international law, and with the treaties, conventions, and other agreements to which the United States is a party. The Secretary shall consult with the Department of State in implementing this order.
(b)   Agency Responsibilities. All Federal agencies whose actions may affect the Reserve and any National Marine Sanctuary established by the Secretary pursuant to this order shall carry out such actions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and Executive Orders, including Executive Orders 13089 of June 11, 1998, and 13158 of May 26, 2000.
(c)   National Security and Emergency Actions. Consistent with applicable law, nothing in this order is intended to apply to military activities (including those carried out by the United States Coast Guard), including military exercises, conducted within or in the vicinity of the Reserve, consistent with the requirements of Executive Orders 13089 of June 11, 1998, and 13158 of May 26, 2000. Further, nothing in this order is intended to restrict the Department of Defense from conducting activities necessary during time of war or national emergency, or when necessary for reasons of national security as determined by the Secretary of Defense, consistent with applicable law. In addition, consistent with applicable law, nothing in this order shall limit agency actions to respond to emergencies posing an unacceptable threat to human health or safety or to the marine environment and admitting of no other feasible solution.
(d)   United States Coast Guard. Nothing in this order is intended to limit the authority of the United States Coast Guard to enforce any Federal law, or install or maintain aids to navigation.
(e)   Funding. This order shall be carried out subject to the availability of appropriated funds and to the extent permitted by law.
(f)   Territorial Waters. Nothing in this order shall enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction or authority of the State of Hawaii or the United States over submerged or other lands within the territorial waters off the coast of Hawaii.
(g)   Judicial Review. This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable in law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.


Signature of William J. Clinton
William J. Clinton 
The White House,
December 4, 2000.
[FR Doc. 00–31313 Filed 12–6–00; 8:45 am]
Billing Code 3195–01–P

Notes[edit]

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).