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house Bill H.R. 556

Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedJanuary 15th, 2009

Bill Details

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Title

Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act

Official Title

To establish a program of research, recovery, and other activities to provide for the recovery of the southern sea otter.

Summary

Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act - (Sec. 2) Requires the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), to carry out a Recovery and Research Program for southern sea otter populations along the coast of California that includes: (1) monitoring, analysis, and assessment of population demographics, health, mortality, and life history parameters; and (2) implementation of measures to reduce or eliminate potential factors limiting populations that are related to marine ecosystem health or human activities. Requires the Secretary to: (1) appoint persons to a southern sea otter recovery implementation team as authorized under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 within a year; (2) establish a peer-reviewed, merit-based process to award competitive grants for research regarding such otters and for projects assisting the recovery of otter populations; and (3) establish a peer review panel to provide scientific advice and guidance to prioritize proposals for grants. Authorizes research grant topics to include: (1) causes of sea otter mortality; (2) southern sea otter demographics and natural history; (3) effects and sources of pollutants, nutrients, and toxicants on such otters and sequestration of contaminants; (4) effects and sources of infectious diseases and parasites affecting such otters; (5) limitations on the availability of food resources for such otters and the impacts of food limitation on southern sea otter carrying capacity; (6) interactions between southern sea otters and coastal fisheries and other human activities in the marine environment; (7) assessment of the keystone ecological role of sea otters in southern and central California's coastal marine ecosystems; and (8) assessment of the adequacy of emergency response and contingency plans. Authorizes funded recovery projects to include projects to: (1) protect and recover southern sea otters; (2) reduce, mitigate, or eliminate potential factors limiting southern sea otter populations that are related to human activities; and (3) implement emergency response and contingency plans. Requires the Secretary, within 12 months, to report to Congress on: (1) the status of southern sea otter populations; (2) implementation of the research and grant programs; and (3) endangered species consultations regarding southern sea otters. Requires the Secretary, within 24 months and every five years thereafter, to report to Congress and the public on: (1) an evaluation of southern sea otter health, causes of southern sea otter mortality, and the interactions of southern sea otters with California's coastal marine ecosystems; (2) an evaluation of actions taken to improve otter health, reduce mortality, and improve southern sea otter habitat; (3) recommendation for actions to improve otter health, reduce the occurrence of human-related mortality, and improve the health of such coastal marine ecosystems; and (4) recommendations for funding to implement this Act. (Sec. 4) Authorizes appropriations for each of FY2010-FY2015. (Sec. 5) Terminates this Act on the date the Secretary publishes a determination that the southern sea otter should be removed from the endangered species and threatened species lists.

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