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ENVIRONMENT

Save the coral reefs

WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration has proposed to set aside one-fifth of America's coral reefs as "ecological reserves," banning fishing and many other activities. Less than 3 percent of these reefs are protected, although environmentalists say that two-thirds of the 8,600 square miles of US coral reefs are at risk from overfishing, pollution, and commercial activities. The plan calls for developing a scientific consensus on what areas should be set aside as reserves. The goal is to give at least 20 percent of US coral reefs such protection by 2010 to ensure that the reefs are replenished.

America's coral reefs are found mainly off the coasts of Florida, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and in the Pacific trust territories. About 10 percent of US reefs have disappeared, and another two-thirds are under severe environmental stress, marine biologists say.

Earthwatch

BOULDER, COLO. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is making new views of Earth available via the Internet. The views are offered as a set of 20 slides that show Earth in full-color shaded relief, showing land and undersea topography. The Web site is: www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/fliers/00mgg04.html

TECHNOLOGY

Scanning out ruffians

Keyware Technologies, based in Woburn, Mass., is developing technology that would help nightclub owners keep ruffians out. The software will be provided to 15 Dutch nightclubs. Nightclub patrons will be issued ID cards that must be swiped through a scanner before they can enter the club. While the card is scanned, the patron will have his or her fingerprints verified by a computerized reader, and a computerized camera will match facial features to ensure the person trying to get into the club is the same person to whom the card was issued.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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