Statement by the President: Signing of the "National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000" (11/13/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)

For Immediate Release                           November 13, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1482, the "National Marine
Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000," which reauthorizes the National Marine
Sanctuaries Act for 5 years.

     The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) authorizes the
establishment of a unique system of marine protected areas dedicated to the
conservation of special areas of the marine environment for the
appreciation and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The National
Marine Sanctuary Program currently comprises 13 sanctuaries around the
country, including sites in American Samoa and Hawaii.  In the quarter
century since its inception, the NMSA has provided a powerful mandate for
marine resource protection, resulting in the permanent conservation of many
invaluable habitats.  Drawing upon this experience, S. 1482 refines the
NMSA in substantive ways to reflect the growth and evolution of the

     The National Marine Sanctuary Program is a key part of my
Administration?s ocean policy.  In particular, this long-standing program
will be an integral part of the national system of marine protected areas,
which I recently directed Federal agencies to establish.  In addition,
sanctuaries are essential to achieving the goals of the Coral Reef Task
Force of protecting important coral areas and will be a focus of the Ocean
Exploration initiative, which I recently announced, to better understand
the unexplored ocean areas.

     This legislation establishes the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program,
which will support graduate students in oceanography, marine biology, and
maritime archaeology.  Much of the success of the National Marine Sanctuary
Program is attributable to Dr. Foster?s advocacy of the program and her
tenure as the head of the program in its early years, and I am pleased that
these scholarships will honor such a fine leader in ocean and coastal
management.  Throughout her career, Dr. Foster
demonstrated a commitment to mentoring and supporting women and minorities
in the marine sciences.  She will be greatly missed.

     I congratulate the congressional supporters of this Act.  I am pleased
by the increased interest in our oceans and coastal resources and the
recognition of the value of the continued protection and management of
these areas.  S. 1482 will be instrumental in helping to ensure our ocean
legacy for future generations.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    November 13, 2000.

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