[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 118, 108th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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--

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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.


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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118 STAT. 793

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

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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,

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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.


(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.

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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.