June 14, 2018

Senate Unanimously Passes Hirono Resolution Honoring Coral Reef Task Force

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed Senator Mazie K. Hirono’s bipartisan resolution celebrating the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which brings together stakeholders from Hawaii and other coastal states and territories as well as twelve Federal agencies to build partnerships and support for coral reef conservation.

“Coral reefs in Hawaii and across the world continue to be endangered by climate change and manmade pollution,” Senator Hirono said. “The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force brings together a wide range of stakeholders to restore coral reefs and encourage coastal communities to participate in conservation efforts.”

“The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force has been a valuable source of leadership for the protection of coral reefs and those who depend on them.  With nearly 500 million people worldwide benefiting from the ecosystem services and both cultural and economic benefits of coral reefs, estimated at $1 trillion, the work of the Task Force has never been more urgent.  Coral reefs are threatened, but not doomed, and if we focus our efforts on reversing the damage caused by local and global stressors, we can leave a positive legacy of vital reef ecosystems for future generations,” Dr. Robert H. Richmond, Research Professor and Director, Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa said.

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Click here to download a copy of the resolution.

Last year, Senator Hirono introduced the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act, which would direct federal agencies to establish competitive prizes to develop novel solutions that would reverse the decline or degradation of coral reefs.