Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 111 Part 3.djvu/677

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-• si;*"**"' s CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS—OCT. 21, 1997 111 STAT. 2765 1997, or such time on that day as may be specified by the Majority Leader or his designee in the motion to recess or adjourn, or until noon on the second day after Members are notified to reassemble pursuant to section 2 of this concurrent resolution, whichever occurs first. SEC. 2. The Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate, acting jointly after consultation with the Minority Leader of the House and the Minority Leader of the Senate, shall notify the Members of the House and Senate, respectively, to reassemble whenever, in their opinion, the public interest shall warrant it. Agreed to October 9, 1997. CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS—HEALTH AND Oct. 21, 1997 STABILITY [H. Con. Res. 8] Recognizing the significance of maintaining the health and stability of coral reef ecosystems. Whereas coral reefs are among the world's most biologically diverse and productive marine habitats, and are often described as the tropical rain forest of the oceans; Whereas healthy coral reefs provide the basis for subsistence, commercial fisheries, and coastal and marine tourism and are of vital economic importance to coastal States and territories of the United States including Florida, Hawaii, Greorgia, Texas, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Whereas healthy coral reefs function as natural, regenerating coastal barriers, protecting shorelines and coastal areas from high waves, storm surges, and accompanying losses of human life and property; Whereas Uie scientific community has long established that coral reefs are subject to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic threats; Whereas a wide variety of destructive fishing practices, including the use of cyanide, other poisons, surfactants, and explosives, are contributing to the global decline of coral reef ecosystems; Whereas the United States has taken measures to protect national coral reef resources through the designation and management of several marine protected areas, containing reefs of the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys in south Florida, and offshore Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa; Whereas the United States, acting through its agencies, has established itself as a global leader in coral reef stewardship by launching the International Coral Reef Initiative and by maintaining professional networks for the purposes of sharing knowledge and information on coral reefs, furnishing near realtime data collected at coral reef sites, providing a repository for historical data relating to coral reefs, and making substantial contributions to the general fund of coral reef knowledge; and Whereas 1997 has been declared the "International Year of the Reef by the coral reef research community and over 40 national