This report presents an analysis at the federal level of a project completed for the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative entitled “Identification and evaluation of local, state, and federal rules to improve compliance and enforcement of regulations to protect coral reef resources and minimize reef impacts”. Federal legislation with the potential to impact coral reef resources was examined and an analysis of federal agency actions (such as issuing permits, participating in consultations, and salvaging grounded ships, etc.) was conducted. Legislation and corresponding analysis are discussed broken into two major categories: Fishing, Diving and Other Uses and Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts. This report spans three major topics and discusses their relevance to coral reef resources: Essential Fish Habitat consultations, beach nourishment in southeast Florida, and potential projects at Port Everglades. The interaction of state legislation with federal legislation is discussed where relevant, particularly in the beach nourishment section (3.0). An evaluation of the potential of both federal and state statutes to protect coral reefs reveals that the legislative mandates necessary to do so are present. As evidenced by the decline in the health of Florida’s coral reefs, a combination of conflicting federal agency oversight and an inability of the state of Florida to protect its coral reef resources from economic pressures is preventing coral reefs from receiving maximum protection.
Tinsley, Megan, "Identification and evaluation of local, state, and federal rules to improve compliance and enforcement of regulations to protect coral reef resources and minimize reef impacts." (2007). Internship Reports (Restricted). 252.
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