Congressman Francis Rooney Urges Congress to Consider the Effects of Damaging Chemicals on our Coral Reefs
Washington, DC – Congressman Rooney sent a letter to Chairman Grijalva and Ranking Member Bishop of the House Natural Resources Committee requesting a hearing on the Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Harmful Chemicals Act (H.R. 1834).
Congressman Rooney stated, “This straightforward bill would safeguard our federally protected coral reefs by prohibiting the human use of oxybenzone and octinoxate within National Marine Sanctuaries where coral is present. These reefs are vital to the marine ecosystems across the United States and around the world and we need to understand the long-term effects that these chemicals could have on our waters and marine systems.
“Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, and the commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs is over $100 million annually. That does not include their value to the tourism industry, for scientific study, or their role as a natural barrier between coastal erosion and storms.
“It is imperative that we keep these vital ecosystems healthy- humans and marine life depend on them every day.”