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NFC: Fw: EDF_Action_Network alert: Protecting Critical Habitat for Fish

Dear robert rice: 
You can take action on this alert either by email or preferably on the
web at:

Here's what this alert is about:

Protecting Critical Habitat for Fish

To: 		All Environmental Defense Activists
From:		Doug Hopkins, Oceans Program Manager
                Azur Moulaert, Action Network Manager
Date:		December 17, 1999
Subject:	Protecting Critical Habitat for Fish

The habitats upon which fish depend for spawning, feeding, 
and protection are at risk!  We need your help this week to 
prevent the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from 
weakening important regulations designed to protect fish 
habitat. Here's what's at stake:

The Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA), which was signed into 
law on October 11, 1996, contains important mandates to 
protect essential fish habitat (EFH), which is defined as 
those waters necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, 
feeding, and growth to maturity. The NMFS and the regional 
fishery management councils are required to take action to 
protect this habit from over-fishing, pollution, or other 
activities which could harm it. 

A coalition of industry groups has been aggressively 
lobbying the NMFS and Congress to gut the EFH regulatory 
program and its legal underpinnings.  They successfully 
prevented the agency from issuing final regulations in 
December 1997 and have now persuaded the NMFS to reopen 
public comment. This new comment period is designed to 
delay finalization of the EFH regulations until the 
opponents are successful in convincing Congress to repeal 
or gut the law. We cannot let this happen!

Comments from concerned citizens like you are desperately 
needed to ensure that the NMFS maintains strong protection 
for essential fish habitat. Below is a sample comment 
letter.  Please feel free to use all or part of this letter 
as the basis for your comments. Since the comment period 
closes at 5:00 p.m. EST on December 23, 1999, your action 
is needed now!  

Thank you.


If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this
alert by going to the following URL:


Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email program, and edit 
the letter below as you wish.  If your email program does not have 
a "reply to sender" option, you can copy and paste the letter below into 
a new email message and mail it to
alert-response-147997A4175B945468914C91298 at actionnetwork_org.  
You must include the whole letter in your response including "-YOU MAY 
EDIT THE LETTER BELOW-" and "-END OF LETTER-".  Please do not
add your name and address to your letter.  Action Network automatically
does this for you. 

We STRONGLY encourage you to make edits directly to our sample letter 
below, and put the alert talking points into your own words. An 
individualized letter is worth ten computer generated letters. Of 
course, hundreds of unedited letters will still create a large impact, 
so please reply even if you don't have time to personalize the letter.

Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
 EFH Coordinator


Re: Don't weaken the Essential Fish Habitat regulations!
Comments on Federal Register notice, 64 Fed. Reg. 60731)

Protecting essential fish habitat is important to me.  We 
must stop the destruction of important fish habitats 
including wetlands, sea grasses, reefs, and rocky bottoms 
to ensure that the health of our fisheries is maintained 
for the next millennium.  Congress passed the Sustainable 
Fisheries Act in 1996 to do just that.  I urge you, as the 
Federal agency charged with carrying out this law, to 
aggressively protect fish habitat in the following ways:

1) Demonstrate your commitment to fish habitat protection 
by finalizing the essential fish habitat regulations 
immediately; don't weaken the regulations!
2) Don't narrow the definition of essential fish habitat; 
all areas where a fish species exists may be critical to 
its survival.
3) Your agency has the authority to protect fish habitat 
from damaging fishing practices; use it!  Assess the 
impacts of fishing on habitat and take action to minimize 
any adverse impacts.
4) Land-based development is a continuing threat to coastal 
fish habitat.  The Federal agencies that authorize or fund 
these activities should be required to evaluate the effects 
of their actions on fish habitat, and be required to take 
steps to minimize or mitigate any adverse effects.

Thank you for considering my comments.

-------END OF LETTER-------------------------

Sincerely yours,

robert rice
2213 prytania circle
prytania circle
navaree, FL 32566

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