Rubio, Soto Applaud the Passage of 'Restoring Resilient Reefs Act'

Rubio, Soto Applaud the Passage of 'Restoring Resilient Reefs Act'

The bill will increase funding for coral reef programs.

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
December 19, 2022

Today, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and his colleagues applauded the signage of the Restoring Resilient Reefs Act which looks to “reauthorize and modernize” prior legislation in order to strengthen the laws on the books to protect American coral reefs in all states and territories.

The bill was bipartisan, including support and cosigns from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

Sen. Rubio stated that after his eyewitness account of the “devastated” coral reefs in the Florida Keys, that he would commit to action.

“I saw firsthand the devastated condition of our coral reefs when I toured the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and I promised a comprehensive response. This new law will ensure federal agencies are partnering effectively with state and local governments and non-governmental organizations to restore our dwindling coral reefs. The Florida communities that rely on the health of these critical ecosystems cannot be left behind. This is a pivotal moment in the battle to save our corals and protect our coastal communities,” stated Sen. Rubio.

Moreover, the bill also has bipartisan support in the House of Representatives as well. Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) led the bill in the lower chamber and was thankful for Rubio’s inclusion of the bill in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of the next fiscal year.

“Our Florida coral reefs are national treasures that contain part of the most diverse ecosystems on planet Earth. Time and time again, we've witnessed how the effects of climate change, overfishing, pollution, and development have threatened the vitality of coral reefs around our coasts. I’m thankful that our legislation with Senator Rubio was included in the FY23 NDAA and will help protect our environment – specifically our precious habitats for marine life. I look forward to seeing key federal programs reauthorized and funded to help stop the deterioration of our coral reefs. In Florida, our way of life certainly depends on it,” said Soto.

The bill will strengthen the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000, as well as increasing the funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef program to $45 million annually, up from $16 million.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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