Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: John Wright
For Immediate Release: Oct. 28, 2004

Media Advisory

Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles to Sign Agreement with Boating Association to Protect Coral Reefs, Seabed Grasses


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Deputy Secretary of the Interior Steven Griles will sign an agreement with the Boat Owners Association of The United States of America on Friday, Oct. 29, to promote the conservation of coral reefs and seabed grasses through a campaign to educate boaters of the importance of avoiding collisions and groundings and reporting them quickly when they do occur to expedite restoration efforts.

Coral reef and seabed are vital to both the marine environment and to the economy of states like Florida. Both provide important fish habitat and reefs protect shorelines from storm damage. In Florida and elsewhere, coral reefs and seabeds have been damaged by pollution, overuse, and collisions and groundings by watercraft.

"As a group, boaters are conservation-oriented and want to protect our waterways and marine environment, but they need more information on the effects of groundings and ways to avoid them," Griles said. "The Interior Department and the Boat Owners Association of The United
States are pledging to work together on educational campaigns that will help conserve these vital areas."

Who: Steve Griles, deputy secretary of the Interior
Michael G. Scuilla, vice president of Boat US

What: Signing of Memorandum of Agreement by Interior Department and
Boat Owners Association of The United States

When: 9:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 29, 2004

Where: Radisson Bahia Mar Beach Hotel,
801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale



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