[108th Congress Public Law 266]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ266.108]

[[Page 118 STAT. 791]]

Public Law 108-266
108th Congress

                                 An Act

To assist in the conservation of marine turtles and the nesting habitats 
 of marine turtles in foreign countries. <<NOTE: July 2, 2004 -  [H.R. 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Marine Turtle 
Conservation Act of 2004. 16 USC 6601 note.>> 


    This Act may be cited as the ``Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 


    (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 
            (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--

[[Page 118 STAT. 792]]

                    (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 Act 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.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6602.>> 

    In this Act:
            (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 nesting 
        habitats of marine turtles in foreign countries and of marine 
        turtles in those habitats, including--
                    (A) protection, restoration, and management of 
                nesting habitats;
                    (B) onsite research and monitoring of nesting 
                populations, nesting habitats, annual reproduction, and 
                species population trends;
                    (C) assistance in the development, implementation, 
                and improvement of national and regional management 
                plans for nesting habitat ranges;
                    (D) enforcement and implementation of CITES and laws 
                of foreign countries to--
                          (i) protect and manage nesting populations and 
                      nesting habitats; and
                          (ii) 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 on 
                      nesting habitat; and
                          (ii) illegal trade in marine turtles;
                    (F) initiatives to resolve conflicts between humans 
                and marine turtles over habitat used by marine turtles 
                for nesting;
                    (G) community outreach and education; and
                    (H) strengthening of the ability of local 
                communities to implement nesting population and nesting 
                habitat conservation programs.
            (3) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Marine Turtle 
        Conservation Fund established by section 5.
            (4) Marine turtle.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``marine turtle'' means 
                any member of the family Cheloniidae or Dermochelyidae.
                    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``marine turtle'' 
                          (i) any part, product, egg, or offspring of a 
                      turtle described in subparagraph (A); and
                          (ii) a carcass of such a turtle.
            (5) Multinational species conservation fund.--The term 
        ``Multinational Species Conservation Fund'' means the

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        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).
            (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.


    (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 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 may be submitted to the Secretary 
                    (A) 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
                    (B) any other person or group with the demonstrated 
                expertise required for the conservation of marine 
            (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 Act.

    (c) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> Project Review and Approval.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Records.>> 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

[[Page 118 STAT. 794]]

        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 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) <<NOTE: Notification.>> provide written 
                notification of the approval or disapproval to the 
                person that submitted the project proposal, other 
                Federal officials, and each country described in 
                subparagraph (A).

    (d) Criteria for Approval.--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.
    (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 
and their nesting habitats.
    (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 Act, shall be made 
        available to the public.


    (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 6; 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 4.
            (2) Administrative expenses.--Of the amounts in the account 
        available for each fiscal year, the Secretary may expend not 
        more than 3 percent, or up to $80,000, whichever is greater,

[[Page 118 STAT. 795]]

        to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this 

    (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 
            (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 4. Amounts received by 
the Secretary in the form of donations shall be transferred to the 
Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the Fund.

SEC. 6. ADVISORY GROUP. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6605.>> 

    (a) In General.--To assist in carrying out this Act, the Secretary 
may convene an advisory group consisting of individuals representing 
public and private organizations actively involved in the conservation 
of marine turtles.
    (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 


    There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund $5,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009.

[[Page 118 STAT. 796]]

SEC. 8. REPORT TO CONGRESS. <<NOTE: Deadline. 16 USC 6607.>> 

    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 Act, including recommendations concerning how 
this Act might be improved and whether the Fund should be continued in 
the future.

    Approved July 2, 2004.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-507 (Comm. on Resources).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-167 accompanying S. 1210 (Comm. on Environment 
and Public Works).
            June 14, considered and passed House.
            June 18, considered and passed Senate.