Mon. Nov 18th, 2019

Two US top officials to co-chair Coral Reef Task Force meeting in Palau

United States Interior Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech (left) and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmospheres Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet (right). (Photo courtesy of wikipedia))

United States Interior Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmospheres Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet will be in Palau next week to co-chair the 42nd annual US Coral Reef Task Force meeting slated on September 9 – 13, 2019.

Domenech will take off from Guam after meeting the members of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Guam National Wildlife Refuge at Ritidian Point and paying a courtesy visit on the new commander of Joint Region Marianas, Rear Admiral John Menoni.

The business meeting, which will be hosted by Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr, will also be attended by Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo and American Samoa Lt. Governor Lemanu Mauga.

 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Director Jim Reilly will also talk about “Understanding Our Coral Reefs: USGS Science Today and Tomorrow” as the featured speaker during the first day of the meeting.

Some personnel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will also present topics surrounding the status of corals.

Domenech, in a press statement, said that he looks forward to the discussions related to coral reef management and preservation with the stakeholders in the federal government and the freely associated states.

The last time the meeting was held in Palau was in 2005.

The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force was established in 1998 through a Presidential Executive Order with an aim to “lead U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems and includes leaders of 12 federal agencies, seven U.S. states, territories, and commonwealths, and the freely associated states,” the press statement reads.