NOAA seeks input on process for new marine sanctuaries

02 Jul 2013
Pink coral at Rose Atoll in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Credit: NOAA

Pink coral at Rose Atoll in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Credit: NOAA

NOAA is seeking public input on a proposed process and associated criteria to evaluate potential new national marine sanctuaries in the USA’s marine and Great Lakes environments.

After receiving public comment NOAA will finalise the proposed process and will then consider whether to begin accepting nominations for new sanctuaries.

“National marine sanctuaries support local economies by ensuring a healthy and productive ocean,” said Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service. “Our goal is to establish a process that communities can use to recommend areas of the marine environment that could benefit from designation as a sanctuary, and we’re asking the public to tell us what they think that criteria should be.”

In 1995, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries deactivated the previous process for nominating national marine sanctuaries, but many individuals and organisations have showed interest in pursuing new national marine sanctuaries.

Comments can be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. Under Keyword or ID, type in NOAA-NOS-2013-0091. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach comments. To read the full Federal Register notice, visit: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

All comments must be received by 27 August.

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