National Parks Group and Recreation Community Respond to Congressional Hearing for Biscayne National Park

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   April 27, 2012
Contact:   John Adornato, Sun Coast Regional Director National Parks Conservation Association, P 954-961-1280 x207, C: 954-309-9307
Kamau Sadiki, Vice President National Association of Black Scuba Divers, C: 503.799.0793


National Parks Group and Recreation Community Respond to Congressional Hearing for Biscayne National Park

Local communities and businesses support substantial marine reserves at Biscayne to improve coral reef habitat, fishing, diving, and visitor experience

Washington, D.C. - Congress will today hold an oversight hearing to discuss proposed revisions to the General Management Plan for Biscayne National Park.  The National Park Service has proposed science-based revisions to the plan to protect Biscayne’s coral reef habitat and fisheries by creating marine reserves at the park.  In an effort to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources, for which the park was created, the proposed marine reserves align with the Park Service’s management policies and best practices to protect the park’s unique resources and enhance the visitor experience for all Americans to enjoy.

“The establishment of marine reserves in Biscayne National Park to restore the reef system and its full diversity and abundance of marine life would have a strong potential to transform the park into a world class diving and tourism destination, and is an economic driver for the region,” added Kamau Sadki, Vice President, National Association of Black Scuba Divers.  “Such a zone allows for a safe and unique experience unlike any other in South Florida and around the country.”

Biscayne National Park is a national treasure and home to the third largest reef tracts in the world, which is made up of the Florida Keys and Caribbean Islands.  Unfortunately, the park has been overfished and over stressed for several decades. Additionally, the future of South Florida businesses is closely associated with the health, diversity, and sustainability of marine resources at Biscayne National Park. There is a clear relationship between healthy fish populations and healthy coral reef ecosystems.

“Visitors of our national parks expect to see the highest quality conditions when there. The fact is, these reefs are in bad shape and need an effective management tool,” said John Adornato, Sun Coast Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “There is strong scientific consensus and abundant evidence that marine reserves are uniquely effective in restoring, sustaining and conserving coral reef ecosystems.”

The congressional oversight hearing will be held by the House Subcommittee on National Parks at 9:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

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About National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA): Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our National Park System. NPCA, its members, and partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for our children and grandchildren. For more information, visit: www.npca.org.

About The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS): NABS mission is to create a network of people and resources that provide educational experiences that enhance and promote an appreciation of diving and an awareness of the aquatic environment. This network will build unity and camaraderie to transfer the legacy to future generations. For more information, visit: www.nabsdivers.org/.

 

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