16 U.S.C. § 1461 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1461
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)

(a) Establishment of System

There is established the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (hereinafter referred to in this section as the "System") that consists of-

(1) each estuarine sanctuary designated under this section as in effect before April 7, 1986; and

(2) each estuarine area designated as a national estuarine reserve under subsection (b).

Each estuarine sanctuary referred to in paragraph (1) is hereby designated as a national estuarine reserve.

(b) Designation of national estuarine reserves

After April 7, 1986, the Secretary may designate an estuarine area as a national estuarine reserve if-

(1) the Governor of the coastal state in which the area is located nominates the area for that designation; and

(2) the Secretary finds that-

(A) the area is a representative estuarine ecosystem that is suitable for long-term research and contributes to the biogeographical and typological balance of the System;

(B) the law of the coastal state provides long-term protection for reserve resources to ensure a stable environment for research;

(C) designation of the area as a reserve will serve to enhance public awareness and understanding of estuarine areas, and provide suitable opportunities for public education and interpretation; and

(D) the coastal state in which the area is located has complied with the requirements of any regulations issued by the Secretary to implement this section.

(c) Estuarine research guidelines

The Secretary shall develop guidelines for the conduct of research within the System that shall include-

(1) a mechanism for identifying, and establishing priorities among, the coastal management issues that should be addressed through coordinated research within the System;

(2) the establishment of common research principles and objectives to guide the development of research programs within the System;

(3) the identification of uniform research methodologies which will ensure comparability of data, the broadest application of research results, and the maximum use of the System for research purposes;

(4) the establishment of performance standards upon which the effectiveness of the research efforts and the value of reserves within the System in addressing the coastal management issues identified in paragraph (1) may be measured; and

(5) the consideration of additional sources of funds for estuarine research than the funds authorized under this chapter, and strategies for encouraging the use of such funds within the System, with particular emphasis on mechanisms established under subsection (d).

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