WASHINGTON—The Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will host the 39th biannual meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force this week.
The public business meeting will be held on Feb. 22, 2018, at the Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Douglas Domenech, Interior assistant secretary Insular and International Affairs, and W. Russell Callender, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service, will co-chair the business meeting.
The meeting will emphasize the importance of coral reef conservation, focus on the impacts of recent natural disasters on coral reefs, explore cutting-edge research in natural disaster recovery and resilience of coral reefs and highlight plans for 2018 as the” International Year of the Reef.”
The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force includes leaders of 12 federal agencies with coral reef responsibilities; the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico; the U.S. states of Hawaii and Florida; and the three freely associated states of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau.
The task force was created by Executive Order 13089. Its primary mission is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs globally. The USCRTF also helps build partnerships, strategies, and support for on-the-ground action to conserve coral reefs. (PR)