Salazar Reintroduces REEF Act

Salazar Reintroduces REEF Act

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
February 12, 2023
Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) has reintroduced the Reusing Equipment for Environmental Fortification (REEF) Act. The bill addresses environmental concerns, and it has received support in the Senate.
According to a press release from Salazar, the bill "incentivizes retired Navy ships to be repurposed into artificial reefs, boosting marine environments, and creating recreational and economic opportunities in the process."  Should the legislation be signed into law, it aims to "protect South Florida's coastal ecosystem, provide unique opportunities for U.S. veterans, and boost regional and local economies."
In the Senate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) has introduced the Senate companion, citing that the bill "would create new opportunities to utilize retiring navy ships as artificial reefs to the benefit of marine life and Florida's tourism-based economy." "Florida's marine ecosystems are of vital importance to the state's biodiversity, economy, and way of life," Rubio added.
In a statement, Salazar urged support for the bill, calling attention to the fact that "Miami's coasts are filled with history and wildlife" that need to be preserved. "This bill allows us to use our retired Navy ships to protect South Florida's beautiful coastal ecosystems for decades to come," she added, saying that the bipartisan legislation will "continue making good use of our nation's military infrastructure."
The bill has received support from numerous groups including the Coastal Conservation Association, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Hawaii Rep. Ed Case (D), who supports the bill, commented that "creating artificial reefs using excess naval vessels can help restore and preserve our fragile ocean ecosystem and create opportunities for those who want to explore the biodiversity that would surround a sunken structure." He further explained that it would benefit Hawaii because it would "restore our threatened marine ecosystems and draw those who want to experience our marine life up-close and understand how it must be preserved."

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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