U.S. Government and Boating Organization Agree to Protect Fish Habitat

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Steve Griles signed a joint agreement with the Boat Owners Association of the U.S. (BoatU.S.) to help protect coral reefs, seagrass beds and other important marine habitat. The agreement, signed at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, includes a public-education effort aimed at recreational boaters that will stress the ecological importance of marine habitat and how to avoid damaging it while on the water. Both coral reefs and seagrass beds provide essential fish habitat, and coral reefs protect shorelines from storm damage. Florida's 2.5 million acres of seagrass beds are home to redfish, snook, trout and many other prized game fish. The agreement marks the first time the U.S. Department of Interior has joined with a national boating advocacy group for a conservation effort of this kind. For more information, visit www.boatus.com.