[USC02] 16 USC Ch. 85: MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION
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16 USC Ch. 85: MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION
From Title 16—CONSERVATION

CHAPTER 85—MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION

Sec.
6601.
Findings and purposes.
6602.
Definitions.
6603.
Conservation assistance.
6604.
Marine Turtle Conservation Fund.
6605.
Advisory group.
6606.
Authorization of appropriations.
6607.
Report to Congress.

        

§6601. Findings and purposes

(a) Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1) marine turtle populations have declined to the point that the long-term survival of the loggerhead, green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, and leatherback turtle in the wild is in serious jeopardy;

(2) 6 of the 7 recognized species of marine turtles are listed as threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and all 7 species have been included in Appendix I of CITES;

(3) because marine turtles are long-lived, late-maturing, and highly migratory, marine turtles are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of human exploitation and habitat loss;

(4) illegal international trade seriously threatens wild populations of some marine turtle species, particularly the hawksbill turtle;

(5) the challenges facing marine turtles are immense, and the resources available have not been sufficient to cope with the continued loss of nesting habitats caused by human activities and the consequent diminution of marine turtle populations;

(6) because marine turtles are flagship species for the ecosystems in which marine turtles are found, sustaining healthy populations of marine turtles provides benefits to many other species of wildlife, including many other threatened or endangered species;

(7) marine turtles are important components of the ecosystems that they inhabit, and studies of wild populations of marine turtles have provided important biological insights;

(8) changes in marine turtle populations are most reliably indicated by changes in the numbers of nests and nesting females; and

(9) the reduction, removal, or other effective addressing of the threats to the long-term viability of populations of marine turtles will require the joint commitment and effort of—

(A) countries that have within their boundaries marine turtle nesting habitats; and

(B) persons with expertise in the conservation of marine turtles.

(b) Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to assist in the conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises and the habitats of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises in foreign countries and territories of the United States by supporting and providing financial resources for projects—

(1) to conserve marine turtle, freshwater turtle, and tortoise habitats under the jurisdiction of United States Fish and Wildlife Service programs;

(2) to conserve marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises in those habitats; and

(3) to address other threats to the survival of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises, including habitat loss, poaching of turtles or their eggs, and wildlife trafficking.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §2, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 791; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(A), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 786.)

References in Text

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is Pub. L. 93–205, Dec. 28, 1973, 87 Stat. 884, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 35 (§1531 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1531 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 116–9 added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The purpose of this chapter is to assist in the conservation of marine turtles and the nesting habitats of marine turtles in foreign countries by supporting and providing financial resources for projects to conserve the nesting habitats, conserve marine turtles in those habitats, and address other threats to the survival of marine turtles."

Short Title

Pub. L. 108–266, §1, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 791, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the 'Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004'."

§6602. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) CITES

The term "CITES" means the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (27 UST 1087; TIAS 8249).

(2) Conservation

The term "conservation" means the use of all methods and procedures necessary to protect marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises, and the habitats of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises, in foreign countries and territories of the United States under the jurisdiction of United States Fish and Wildlife Service programs, including—

(A) protection, restoration, and management of habitats;

(B) onsite research and monitoring of populations, habitats, annual reproduction, and species population trends;

(C) assistance in the development, implementation, and improvement of national and regional management plans for habitat ranges;

(D) enforcement and implementation of CITES and laws of foreign countries—

(i) to protect and manage populations and habitats; and

(ii) to prevent illegal trade of marine turtles;


(E) training of local law enforcement officials in the interdiction and prevention of—

(i) the illegal killing of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises; and

(ii) illegal trade in marine turtles;


(F) initiatives to resolve conflicts between humans and marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises over habitats used by marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises;

(G) community outreach and education; and

(H) strengthening of the ability of local communities to implement population and habitat conservation programs.

(3) Freshwater turtle

(A) In general

The term "freshwater turtle" means any member of the family Carettochelyidae, Chelidae, Chelydridae, Dermatemydidae, Emydidae, Geoemydidae, Kinosternidae, Pelomedusidae, Platysternidae, Podocnemididae, or Trionychidae.

(B) Inclusions

The term "freshwater turtle" includes—

(i) any part, product, egg, or offspring of a turtle described in subparagraph (A); and

(ii) a carcass of such a turtle.

(4) Fund

The term "Fund" means the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund established by section 6604 of this title.

(5) Habitat

The term "habitat" means any marine turtle, freshwater turtle, or tortoise habitat (including a nesting habitat) that is under the jurisdiction of United States Fish and Wildlife Service programs.

(6) Marine turtle

(A) In general

The term "marine turtle" means any member of the family Cheloniidae or Dermochelyidae.

(B) Inclusions

The term "marine turtle" includes—

(i) any part, product, egg, or offspring of a turtle described in subparagraph (A); and

(ii) a carcass of such a turtle.

(7) Multinational Species Conservation Fund

The term "Multinational Species Conservation Fund" means the fund established under the heading "multinational species conservation fund" in title I of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 (16 U.S.C. 4246).

(8) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(9) Territory of the United States

The term "territory of the United States" means—

(A) American Samoa;

(B) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;

(C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

(D) Guam;

(E) the United States Virgin Islands; and

(F) any other territory or possession of the United States.

(10) Tortoise

(A) In general

The term "tortoise" means any member of the family Testudinidae.

(B) Inclusions

The term "tortoise" includes—

(i) any part, product, egg, or offspring of a tortoise described in subparagraph (A); and

(ii) a carcass of such a tortoise.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §3, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 792; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(B), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 786.)

References in Text

Title I of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999, referred to in par. (7), is Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title I], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681-232. Provisions under the heading "multinational species conservation fund" in Pub. L. 105–277, §101(e) [title I] appear at 112 Stat. 2681–237 and are classified in part to section 4246 of this title.

Amendments

2019—Par. (2). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(I), substituted "marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises, and the habitats of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises, in foreign countries and territories of the United States under the jurisdiction of United States Fish and Wildlife Service programs" for "nesting habitats of marine turtles in foreign countries and of marine turtles in those habitats" in introductory provisions.

Par. (2)(A) to (C). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(II), struck out "nesting" wherever appearing before "habitats", "populations", and "habitat".

Par. (2)(D). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(III)(aa), substituted "countries—" for "countries to—" in introductory provisions.

Par. (2)(D)(i). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(III)(bb), inserted "to" before "protect" and struck out "nesting" before "populations" and before "habitats".

Par. (2)(D)(ii). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(III)(cc), inserted "to" before "prevent".

Par. (2)(E)(i). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(IV), substituted "turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises" for "turtles on nesting habitat".

Par. (2)(F). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(V), substituted "turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises over habitats used by marine turtles, freshwater turtles, and tortoises" for "turtles over habitat used by marine turtles for nesting".

Par. (2)(H). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(i)(VI), struck out "nesting" before "population" and before "habitat".

Pars. (3) to (10). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(B)(ii)–(v), added pars. (3), (5), (9), and (10) and redesignated former pars. (3) to (6) as (4), (6), (7) and (8), respectively.

§6603. Conservation assistance

(a) In general

Subject to the availability of funds and in consultation with other Federal officials, the Secretary shall use amounts in the Fund to provide financial assistance for projects for the conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises for which project proposals are approved by the Secretary in accordance with this section.

(b) Project proposals

(1) Eligible applicants

A proposal for a project for the conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises may be submitted to the Secretary by—

(A) any wildlife management authority of a foreign country or territory of the United States that has within its boundaries marine turtle, freshwater turtle, or tortoise habitat, if the activities of the authority directly or indirectly affect marine turtle, freshwater turtle, or tortoise conservation; or

(B) any other person or group with the demonstrated expertise required for the conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises.

(2) Required elements

A project proposal shall include—

(A) a statement of the purposes of the project;

(B) the name of the individual with overall responsibility for the project;

(C) a description of the qualifications of the individuals that will conduct the project;

(D) a description of—

(i) methods for project implementation and outcome assessment;

(ii) staff and community management for the project; and

(iii) the logistics of the project;


(E) an estimate of the funds and time required to complete the project;

(F) evidence of support for the project by appropriate governmental entities of the countries in which the project will be conducted, if the Secretary determines that such support is required for the success of the project;

(G) information regarding the source and amount of matching funding available for the project; and

(H) any other information that the Secretary considers to be necessary for evaluating the eligibility of the project for funding under this chapter.

(c) Project review and approval

(1) In general

The Secretary shall—

(A) not later than 30 days after receiving a project proposal, provide a copy of the proposal to other Federal officials, as appropriate; and

(B) review each project proposal in a timely manner to determine whether the proposal meets the criteria specified in subsection (d).

(2) Consultation; approval or disapproval

Not later than 180 days after receiving a project proposal, and subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary, after consulting with other Federal officials, as appropriate, shall—

(A) consult on the proposal with the government of each country and territory of the United States in which the project is to be conducted;

(B) after taking into consideration any comments resulting from the consultation, approve or disapprove the project proposal; and

(C) provide written notification of the approval or disapproval to the person that submitted the project proposal, other Federal officials, and each country and territory of the United States described in subparagraph (A).

(d) Criteria for approval

The Secretary may approve a project proposal under this section if the Secretary determines that the project will help to restore, recover, and sustain a viable population of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises in the wild by assisting efforts in a foreign country or territory of the United States to implement a marine turtle, freshwater turtle, or tortoise conservation program.

(e) Project sustainability

To the maximum extent practicable, in determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to conservation projects that are designed to ensure effective, long-term conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises and the habitats of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises.

(f) Matching funds

In determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to projects for which matching funds are available.

(g) Project reporting

(1) In general

Each person that receives assistance under this section for a project shall submit to the Secretary periodic reports (at such intervals as the Secretary may require) that include all information that the Secretary, after consultation with other government officials, determines is necessary to evaluate the progress and success of the project for the purposes of ensuring positive results, assessing problems, and fostering improvements.

(2) Availability to the public

Reports under paragraph (1), and any other documents relating to projects for which financial assistance is provided under this chapter, shall be made available to the public.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §4, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 793; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(C), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 787.)

Amendments

2019Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(i), struck out "Marine turtle" before "Conservation" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(ii), inserted ", freshwater turtles, or tortoises" after "marine turtles".

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(iii)(I), inserted ", freshwater turtles, or tortoises" after "marine turtles" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(iii)(II), added subpar. (A) and struck out former subpar. (A) which read as follows: "any wildlife management authority of a foreign country that has within its boundaries marine turtle nesting habitat if the activities of the authority directly or indirectly affect marine turtle conservation; or".

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(iii)(III), inserted ", freshwater turtles, or tortoises" after "marine turtles".

Subsec. (c)(2)(A), (C). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(iv), inserted "and territory of the United States" after "each country".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(v), added subsec. (d) and struck out former subsec. (d). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may approve a project proposal under this section if the project will help recover and sustain viable populations of marine turtles in the wild by assisting efforts in foreign countries to implement marine turtle conservation programs."

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(C)(vi), substituted "marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises and the habitats of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises" for "marine turtles and their nesting habitats".

§6604. Marine Turtle Conservation Fund

(a) Establishment

There is established in the Multinational Species Conservation Fund a separate account to be known as the "Marine Turtle Conservation Fund", consisting of—

(1) amounts transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Fund under subsection (e);

(2) amounts appropriated to the Fund under section 6606(a) of this title; and

(3) any interest earned on investment of amounts in the Fund under subsection (c).

(b) Expenditures from Fund

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), on request by the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer from the Fund to the Secretary, without further appropriation, such amounts as the Secretary determines are necessary to carry out section 6603 of this title.

(2) Administrative expenses

Of the amounts in the account available for each fiscal year, the Secretary may expend not more than 5 percent, or up to $150,000, whichever is greater, to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this chapter.

(c) Investment of amounts

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund as is not, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury, required to meet current withdrawals. Investments may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States.

(2) Acquisition of obligations

For the purpose of investments under paragraph (1), obligations may be acquired—

(A) on original issue at the issue price; or

(B) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price.

(3) Sale of obligations

Any obligation acquired by the Fund may be sold by the Secretary of the Treasury at the market price.

(4) Credits to Fund

The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to and form a part of the Fund.

(d) Transfers of amounts

(1) In general

The amounts required to be transferred to the Fund under this section shall be transferred at least monthly from the general fund of the Treasury to the Fund on the basis of estimates made by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(2) Adjustments

Proper adjustment shall be made in amounts subsequently transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess of or less than the amounts required to be transferred.

(e) Acceptance and use of donations

The Secretary may accept and use donations to provide assistance under section 6603 of this title. Amounts received by the Secretary in the form of donations shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the Fund.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §5, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 794; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(D), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 788.)

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(D)(i), substituted "section 6606(a)" for "section 6605".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 116–9, §7001(c)(3)(D)(ii), substituted "5 percent, or up to $150,000" for "3 percent, or up to $80,000".

§6605. Advisory group

(a) In general

To assist in carrying out this chapter, the Secretary may convene an advisory group consisting of individuals representing public and private organizations actively involved in the conservation of marine turtles, freshwater turtles, or tortoises.

(b) Public participation

(1) Meetings

The Advisory Group shall—

(A) ensure that each meeting of the advisory group is open to the public; and

(B) provide, at each meeting, an opportunity for interested persons to present oral or written statements concerning items on the agenda.

(2) Notice

The Secretary shall provide to the public timely notice of each meeting of the advisory group.

(3) Minutes

Minutes of each meeting of the advisory group shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be made available to the public.

(c) Exemption from Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the advisory group.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §6, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 795; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(E), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 788.)

References in Text

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–9 inserted ", freshwater turtles, or tortoises" after "marine turtles".

§6606. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(b) Allocation

Of the amounts made available for each fiscal year pursuant to subsection (a)—

(1) not less than $1,510,000 shall be used by the Secretary for marine turtle conservation purposes in accordance with this chapter; and

(2) of the amounts in excess of the amount described in paragraph (1), not less than 40 percent shall be used by the Secretary for freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation purposes in accordance with this chapter.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §7, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 795; Pub. L. 116–9, title VII, §7001(c)(3)(F), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 788.)

Amendments

2019Pub. L. 116–9 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009."

§6607. Report to Congress

Not later than October 1, 2005, the Secretary shall submit to the Congress a report on the results and effectiveness of the program carried out under this chapter, including recommendations concerning how this chapter might be improved and whether the Fund should be continued in the future.

(Pub. L. 108–266, §8, July 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 796.)