PROP Concerned About Proposed Listing of 66 Coral Species on Endangered List

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Guam – The Steering Committee for the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Partnership (PROP) met last week in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The meeting included a two-day workshop on the proposed listing of 66 reef-building corals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed listing is cause for concern due to the impact such an expansive listing can have on the state and territories’ ability to manage its resources.

The purpose of the workshop was to learn about the ESA and related regulations such as the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Essential Fish Habitat, and Clean Water Act; to share jurisdictional management concerns; and to increase marine resource managers’ understanding these of federal mandates.  The workshop included participants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Protected Services Division and Habitat Conservation Division, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and local and state regulators.

The workshop achieved its objective by starting a conversation about strategies for more effective collaboration with federal agencies. “If these species are listed,” said Chair Souki, “the state and territories will be better able to ensure that its resources are effectively managed for the benefit of current and future generations through specific strategies with federal regulatory partners.”

The Mission of the PROP is to assist the U.S. Pacific Islands Region Governors of American Samoa (AS), the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), Guam (GU), and Hawai‘i (HI) identify coastal and ocean management priorities that require a coordinated regional response and increased collaboration to effectively address.  The PROP Steering Committee is comprised of four members appointed by the PROP Governors.  They are Jesse Souki (Chair, HI), Fran Castro (Vice Chair, CNMI), Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga (AS), and Joseph Artero-Cameron (GU).

Learn more about PROP and its activities by following us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pacific-Regional-Ocean-Partnership/192088610951950, or by contacting Dr. Takiora Ingram, PROP Secretariat, at prop.secretariat@gmail.com.