THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the President (Aboard Air Force One)
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I am pleased to sign S. 1482, the "National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act of 2000," further strengthening nation's commitment to ocean conservation. This nation prides itself on its conservation ethic, as embodied in our national parks and refuges. The 13 marine sanctuaries extend this ethic into the sea, ensuring a healthy ocean environment for future generations of swimmers and surfers, fishermen and explorers, teachers and students.
National marine sanctuaries enjoy broad bipartisan support, and I am particularly grateful to the Congressional leadership of this legislation for their efforts. I am especially pleased that this act creates the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, named in memory of Dr. Foster, who passed away in June after a 23-year career fighting for ocean conservation. It is a fitting tribute to Dr. Foster to encourage scholarship, particularly by women and minorities, in the fields of oceanography, marine biology, and maritime archeology.
This legislation builds on the Clinton-Gore Administration's work to preserve our nation's oceans. Over the past seven years, the Vice President and I have fought for healthier beaches and cleaner coastal waters, greater protection for endangered and threatened marine species, sound fisheries management, and support for marine protected areas. We have worked with Congress to secure a fivefold increase in marine sanctuary funding to $26 million, and add new sanctuaries off Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, Hawaii, and, most recently, Michigan. Today, we extend this program into the future, and with it this nation's commitment to an ocean ethic for the 21st century.