Literature Library

Currently indexing 10497 titles

Congruence among encounters, norms, crowding, and management in a marine protected area

Citation Information: Environ Manage. 2011 Sep;48(3):499-513. Epub 2011 Jun 28

Authors: Bell CM, Needham MD, Szuster BW.

Abstract: Over the past few decades, recreation and tourism use has increased at many marine protected areas, generating concerns about impacts of this increasing use on experiences and conditions at these areas (e.g., crowding, conflict). This article uses data from Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District in Hawai'i to examine: (a) reported encounters, crowding, normative tolerances for various use levels, and support of use related management strategies at this site; and (b) whether users who encounter higher use levels than their norms feel more crowded and are more supportive of restrictive management strategies. Data were obtained from onsite pre-trip and post-trip questionnaires of 712 passengers on commercial snorkel and dive tours visiting this site. Norms were measured with acceptance of 12 photographs depicting levels of boat use. On average, users would accept seeing no more than approximately 16 boats at one time at Molokini and this number was observed on over 20% of trips to the site. Although the majority of users expected to escape crowds at Molokini, 67% felt crowded and up to 79% supported actions that would directly restrict use at this site (e.g., limit number of boats). Users who encountered more boats than their normative tolerance felt more crowded and were more supportive of these management strategies. Findings suggest that this marine protected area is operating over its capacity and management is needed to improve experiences and conditions.

Updates to List of National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Agency: NOAA, Department of Commerce (DOC).

Action: Notice of updates to the List of National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and response to comments on nominations of existing MPAs to the national system.

Summary: The National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provides a mechanism for MPAs managed by diverse government agencies to work together on common conservation priorities. In July 2011, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) invited federal, state, commonwealth, territorial and tribal MPA programs with potentially eligible existing MPAs to nominate their sites to the National System of MPAs (national system). A total of 58 nominations were received, including three from the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, 40 from the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, three from the National Park Service, one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, five from the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, two from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, one from the Virgin Islands Department Of Planning and Natural Resources and three from the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Following a 45-day public review period, two public comments were received by the National Marine Protected Areas Center (MPA Center). Both comments were supportive of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, which was nominated by the National Park Service. The managing agencies listed above were asked to make a final determination of sites to nominate to the national system. Finding them to be eligible for the national system, the MPA Center has accepted the nominations for 58 sites and placed them on the List of National System MPAs.

Costa Rica's Marine Protected Areas: status and perspectives

Citation Information: Rev Biol Trop. 2012 Mar;60(1):129-42

Authors: Alvarado JJ, Cortés J, Esquivel MF, Salas E.

Abstract: With 51 100km2 of terrestrial area and 589 000km2 of national waters, Costa Rica is considered one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity. It has approximately 3.5% of the world marine species. In the last four decades, Costa Rica has done a considerable effort to create a representative system of Protected Areas (PA), mainly terrestrial. We present an assessment of the current situation of the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Costa Rica, through an historical analysis, and an evaluation of their distribution, coverage and management categories. Costa Rica has 166 protected areas covering 50% of the coastline; of these 20 are MPAs, classified as National Parks (90.6%), National Wildlife Refuges (6.6%), Wetlands (1.5%), Biological Reserves (1%), and one Absolute Natural Reserve (0.3%). According to IUCN criteria, 93.7% correspond to category II, 5% to IV and 1.3% to I. The marine protected surface is 5 296.5km2, corresponding to 17.5% of the territorial waters and 0.9% of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The median distance between MPAs is 22.4km in the Pacific and 32.9km along the Caribbean. The median size is close to 54km2. The main threats to MPAs are the lack of coordination between governmental agencies, limited economic resources, restricted patrolling and control, poor watershed management, and rampant coastal alteration.

Dispersal patterns of coastal fish: implications for designing networks of marine protected areas

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31681. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Authors: Di Franco A, Gillanders BM, De Benedetto G, Pennetta A, De Leo GA, Guidetti P.

Abstract: Information about dispersal scales of fish at various life history stages is critical for successful design of networks of marine protected areas, but is lacking for most species and regions. Otolith chemistry provides an opportunity to investigate dispersal patterns at a number of life history stages. Our aim was to assess patterns of larval and post-settlement (i.e. between settlement and recruitment) dispersal at two different spatial scales in a Mediterranean coastal fish (i.e. white sea bream, Diplodus sargus sargus) using otolith chemistry. At a large spatial scale (∼200 km) we investigated natal origin of fish and at a smaller scale (∼30 km) we assessed "site fidelity" (i.e. post-settlement dispersal until recruitment). Larvae dispersed from three spawning areas, and a single spawning area supplied post-settlers (proxy of larval supply) to sites spread from 100 to 200 km of coastline. Post-settlement dispersal occurred within the scale examined of ∼30 km, although about a third of post-settlers were recruits in the same sites where they settled. Connectivity was recorded both from a MPA to unprotected areas and vice versa. The approach adopted in the present study provides some of the first quantitative evidence of dispersal at both larval and post-settlement stages of a key species in Mediterranean rocky reefs. Similar data taken from a number of species are needed to effectively design both single marine protected areas and networks of marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas and the governance of marine ecosystems and fisheries

Citation Information: Conserv Biol. 2011 Dec;25(6):1130-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01771.x

Authors: McCay BJ, Jones PJ.

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are spatially defined marine units in which one or more human activities—particularly fishing—are restricted or prohibited. They represent a precautionary and ecosystem-based approach to ocean management (Mangel 2000; Pikitch et al. 2004; Jones 2006). The 1992 Convention for Biological Diversity set a target for 10% of the global marine area to be designated as MPAs by 2010. Progress with designating MPAs is, however, slow, MPAs covering just 1.3% of the marine area and 3.2% of marine areas under national jurisdiction. Consequently, the deadline was recently extended to 2020. Nonetheless, in the past two decades there has been a rapid increase in MPA research and implementation throughout the world. If the governance of MPAs is improved in ways we describe here, MPAs and other place-based approaches will continue to be important tools for the management of marine resources.

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Authors: Congressional Research Service; Jeffrey Zinn, Eugene H. Buck, and Harold F. Upton

Date: July 26, 2007

Summary: Some Members of Congress (among many others) are interested in considering limiting human activity in some areas of the marine environment as one response to mounting evidence of deteriorating conditions and declining populations of living resources. The purposes of proposed additional limits would be to both stem the decline and permit the rehabilitation of these environments and populations. One method of implementing this concept is to designate areas where activity would be limited, often referred to as marine protected areas (MPAs). Translating the MPA approach into a national program, however, requires resolution of many economic, ecological, and social debates.

Where the wild things are: predicting hotspots of seabird aggregations in the California Current System

Citation Information: Ecol Appl. 2011 Sep;21(6):2241-57.

Authors: Nur N, Jahncke J, Herzog MP, Howar J, Hyrenbach KD, Zamon JE, Ainley DG, Wiens JA, Morgan K, Ballance LT, Stralberg D.

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide an important tool for conservation of marine ecosystems. To be most effective, these areas should be strategically located in a manner that supports ecosystem function. To inform marine spatial planning and support strategic establishment of MPAs within the California Current System, we identified areas predicted to support multispecies aggregations of seabirds ("hotspots"). We developed habitat-association models for 16 species using information from at-sea observations collected over an 11-year period (1997-2008), bathymetric data, and remotely sensed oceanographic data for an area from north of Vancouver Island, Canada, to the USA/Mexico border and seaward 600 km from the coast. This approach enabled us to predict distribution and abundance of seabirds even in areas of few or no surveys. We developed single-species predictive models using a machine-learning algorithm: bagged decision trees. Single-species predictions were then combined to identify potential hotspots of seabird aggregation, using three criteria: (1) overall abundance among species, (2) importance of specific areas ("core areas") to individual species, and (3) predicted persistence of hotspots across years. Model predictions were applied to the entire California Current for four seasons (represented by February, May, July, and October) in each of 11 years. Overall, bathymetric variables were often important predictive variables, whereas oceanographic variables derived from remotely sensed data were generally less important. Predicted hotspots often aligned with currently protected areas (e.g., National Marine Sanctuaries), but we also identified potential hotspots in Northern California/Southern Oregon (from Cape Mendocino to Heceta Bank), Southern California (adjacent to the Channel Islands), and adjacent to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that are not currently included in protected areas. Prioritization and identification of multispecies hotspots will depend on which group of species is of highest management priority. Modeling hotspots at a broad spatial scale can contribute to MPA site selection, particularly if complemented by fine-scale information for focal areas.

Spatio-temporal dynamics of a fish spawning aggregation and its fishery in the Gulf of California

Citation Information: Sci Rep. 2012;2:284. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Authors: Erisman B, Aburto-Oropeza O, Gonzalez-Abraham C, Mascareñas-Osorio I, Moreno-Báez M, Hastings PA.

Abstract: We engaged in cooperative research with fishers and stakeholders to characterize the fine-scale, spatio-temporal characteristics of spawning behavior in an aggregating marine fish (Cynoscion othonopterus: Sciaenidae) and coincident activities of its commercial fishery in the Upper Gulf of California. Approximately 1.5-1.8 million fish are harvested annually from spawning aggregations of C. othonopterus during 21-25 days of fishing and within an area of 1,149 km(2) of a biosphere reserve. Spawning and fishing are synchronized on a semi-lunar cycle, with peaks in both occurring 5 to 2 days before the new and full moon, and fishing intensity and catch are highest at the spawning grounds within a no-take reserve. Results of this study demonstrate the benefits of combining GPS data loggers, fisheries data, biological surveys, and cooperative research with fishers to produce spatio-temporally explicit information relevant to the science and management of fish spawning aggregations and the spatial planning of marine reserves.

A new context-based approach to assess marine mammal behavioral responses to anthropogenic sounds

Citation Information: Conserv Biol. 2012 Feb;26(1):21-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01803.x. Epub 2011 Dec 19

Authors: Ellison WT, Southall BL, Clark CW, Frankel AS.

Abstract: Acute effects of anthropogenic sounds on marine mammals, such as from military sonars, energy development, and offshore construction, have received considerable international attention from scientists, regulators, and industry. Moreover, there has been increasing recognition and concern about the potential chronic effects of human activities (e.g., shipping). It has been demonstrated that increases in human activity and background noise can alter habitats of marine animals and potentially mask communications for species that rely on sound to mate, feed, avoid predators, and navigate. Without exception, regulatory agencies required to assess and manage the effects of noise on marine mammals have addressed only the acute effects of noise on hearing and behavior. Furthermore, they have relied on a single exposure metric to assess acute effects: the absolute sound level received by the animal. There is compelling evidence that factors other than received sound level, including the activity state of animals exposed to different sounds, the nature and novelty of a sound, and spatial relations between sound source and receiving animals (i.e., the exposure context) strongly affect the probability of a behavioral response. A more comprehensive assessment method is needed that accounts for the fact that multiple contextual factors can affect how animals respond to both acute and chronic noise. We propose a three-part approach. The first includes measurement and evaluation of context-based behavioral responses of marine mammals exposed to various sounds. The second includes new assessment metrics that emphasize relative sound levels (i.e., ratio of signal to background noise and level above hearing threshold). The third considers the effects of chronic and acute noise exposure. All three aspects of sound exposure (context, relative sound level, and chronic noise) mediate behavioral response, and we suggest they be integrated into ecosystem-level management and the spatial planning of human offshore activities.

Are we predicting the actual or apparent distribution of temperate marine fishes?

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34558. Epub 2012 Apr 19

Authors: Monk J, Ierodiaconou D, Harvey E, Rattray A, Versace VL.

Abstract: Planning for resilience is the focus of many marine conservation programs and initiatives. These efforts aim to inform conservation strategies for marine regions to ensure they have inbuilt capacity to retain biological diversity and ecological function in the face of global environmental change - particularly changes in climate and resource exploitation. In the absence of direct biological and ecological information for many marine species, scientists are increasingly using spatially-explicit, predictive-modeling approaches. Through the improved access to multibeam sonar and underwater video technology these models provide spatial predictions of the most suitable regions for an organism at resolutions previously not possible. However, sensible-looking, well-performing models can provide very different predictions of distribution depending on which occurrence dataset is used. To examine this, we construct species distribution models for nine temperate marine sedentary fishes for a 25.7 km(2) study region off the coast of southeastern Australia. We use generalized linear model (GLM), generalized additive model (GAM) and maximum entropy (MAXENT) to build models based on co-located occurrence datasets derived from two underwater video methods (i.e. baited and towed video) and fine-scale multibeam sonar based seafloor habitat variables. Overall, this study found that the choice of modeling approach did not considerably influence the prediction of distributions based on the same occurrence dataset. However, greater dissimilarity between model predictions was observed across the nine fish taxa when the two occurrence datasets were compared (relative to models based on the same dataset). Based on these results it is difficult to draw any general trends in regards to which video method provides more reliable occurrence datasets. Nonetheless, we suggest predictions reflecting the species apparent distribution (i.e. a combination of species distribution and the probability of detecting it). Consequently, we also encourage researchers and marine managers to carefully interpret model predictions.

Seabed geomorphic features in a glaciated shelf of the Baltic Sea

Citation Information: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science; Volume 100; p. 150-161; March 2012

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2012.01.008

Authors: Kaskela, A. M.; Kotilainen, A. T.; Al-Hamdani, Z.; Leth, J. O.; Reker, J.

Abstract: Due to a continuous increase in human activities occurring throughout marine and coastal areas worldwide (e.g., marine traffic and construction), the lack of in-depth information on vast marine areas is problematic. However, the spatial informatics field has enabled the development of new applications based on pre-existing spatial data. This paper discusses the physical structure and complexity of the continental shelf seafloor, using geospatial modelling and GIS analysis to gain insight into the physical environment of the Baltic Sea seafloor as a basis for ecosystem management. We demonstrate the mapping of coherent features over a broad region and identify geomorphic features of the seabed by analysing and modelling bathymetric, seabed substrate, and photic depth datasets. The analysis was performed at the kilometre scale using a grid size of 200 m.In total, 18 unique seabed geomorphic features were identified from the entire Baltic Sea (including the Skagerrak). The features are similar to geomorphic seafloor structures typically occurring on glaciated continental shelves. The Baltic Sea is primarily characterized by various plains and basins, and on average, one-third of the seafloor can be regarded as a sediment accumulation area. Other seabed geomorphic features are mainly present in certain local sub regions. The archipelagos as well as the coastal areas of southern Sweden and the Bothnian Bay have a heterogeneous seafloor environment. These areas are characterized by sea valleys and holes, sea troughs, and bedrock elevations, partly due to a crystalline basement and glacial erosion. In addition, the shallow coastal areas suffer from intense wave exposure and have erosional features that differ from those in open sea areas.Effective transnational marine spatial planning requires extensive knowledge of the environmental characteristics of the region in question. Background data for marine spatial planning can be obtained through an analysis of seabed geomorphic features, which provides consistent information on the physical marine environment over a broad area.

Identifying critical regions in small-world marine metapopulations

Citation Information: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 25;108(43):E907-13. Epub 2011 Oct 10

Authors: Watson JR, Siegel DA, Kendall BE, Mitarai S, Rassweiller A, Gaines SD

Abstract: The precarious state of many nearshore marine ecosystems has prompted the use of marine protected areas as a tool for management and conservation. However, there remains substantial debate over their design and, in particular, how to best account for the spatial dynamics of nearshore marine species. Many commercially important nearshore marine species are sedentary as adults, with limited home ranges. It is as larvae that they disperse greater distances, traveling with ocean currents sometimes hundreds of kilometers. As a result, these species exist in spatially complex systems of connected subpopulations. Here, we explicitly account for the mutual dependence of subpopulations and approach protected area design in terms of network robustness. Our goal is to characterize the topology of nearshore metapopulation networks and their response to perturbation, and to identify critical subpopulations whose protection would reduce the risk for stock collapse. We define metapopulation networks using realistic estimates of larval dispersal generated from ocean circulation simulations and spatially explicit metapopulation models, and we then explore their robustness using node-removal simulation experiments. Nearshore metapopulations show small-world network properties, and we identify a set of highly connected hub subpopulations whose removal maximally disrupts the metapopulation network. Protecting these subpopulations reduces the risk for systemic failure and stock collapse. Our focus on catastrophe avoidance provides a unique perspective for spatial marine planning and the design of marine protected areas.

Multi-scale approach for predicting fish species distributions across coral reef seascapes

Citation Information: PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20583. Epub 2011 May 26.

Authors: Pittman SJ, Brown KA

Abstract: Two of the major limitations to effective management of coral reef ecosystems are a lack of information on the spatial distribution of marine species and a paucity of data on the interacting environmental variables that drive distributional patterns. Advances in marine remote sensing, together with the novel integration of landscape ecology and advanced niche modelling techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity to reliably model and map marine species distributions across many kilometres of coral reef ecosystems. We developed a multi-scale approach using three-dimensional seafloor morphology and across-shelf location to predict spatial distributions for five common Caribbean fish species. Seascape topography was quantified from high resolution bathymetry at five spatial scales (5-300 m radii) surrounding fish survey sites. Model performance and map accuracy was assessed for two high performing machine-learning algorithms: Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) and Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Modelling (MaxEnt). The three most important predictors were geographical location across the shelf, followed by a measure of topographic complexity. Predictor contribution differed among species, yet rarely changed across spatial scales. BRT provided 'outstanding' model predictions (AUC = >0.9) for three of five fish species. MaxEnt provided 'outstanding' model predictions for two of five species, with the remaining three models considered 'excellent' (AUC = 0.8-0.9). In contrast, MaxEnt spatial predictions were markedly more accurate (92% map accuracy) than BRT (68% map accuracy). We demonstrate that reliable spatial predictions for a range of key fish species can be achieved by modelling the interaction between the geographical location across the shelf and the topographic heterogeneity of seafloor structure. This multi-scale, analytic approach is an important new cost-effective tool to accurately delineate essential fish habitat and support conservation prioritization in marine protected area design, zoning in marine spatial planning, and ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Functional responses and scaling in predator-prey interactions of marine fishes: contemporary issues and emerging concepts

Citation Information: Ecol Lett. 2011 Dec;14(12):1288-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01696.x. Epub 2011 Oct 11

Authors: Hunsicker ME, Ciannelli L, Bailey KM, Buckel JA, Wilson White J, Link JS, Essington TE, Gaichas S, Anderson TW, Brodeur RD, Chan KS, Chen K, Englund G, Frank KT, Freitas V, Hixon MA, Hurst T, Johnson DW, Kitchell JF, Reese D, Rose GA, Sjodin H, Sydeman WJ, van der Veer HW, Vollset K, Zador S.

Abstract: Predator-prey interactions are a primary structuring force vital to the resilience of marine communities and sustainability of the world's oceans. Human influences on marine ecosystems mediate changes in species interactions. This generality is evinced by the cascading effects of overharvesting top predators on the structure and function of marine ecosystems. It follows that ecological forecasting, ecosystem management, and marine spatial planning require a better understanding of food web relationships. Characterising and scaling predator-prey interactions for use in tactical and strategic tools (i.e. multi-species management and ecosystem models) are paramount in this effort. Here, we explore what issues are involved and must be considered to advance the use of predator-prey theory in the context of marine fisheries science. We address pertinent contemporary ecological issues including (1) the approaches and complexities of evaluating predator responses in marine systems; (2) the 'scaling up' of predator-prey interactions to the population, community, and ecosystem level; (3) the role of predator-prey theory in contemporary fisheries and ecosystem modelling approaches; and (4) directions for the future. Our intent is to point out needed research directions that will improve our understanding of predator-prey interactions in the context of the sustainable marine fisheries and ecosystem management.

Identification of marine and coastal biodiversity conservation priorities in Costa Rica

Citation Information: Rev Biol Trop. 2011 Jun;59(2):829-42.

Language: Spanish

Authors: Alvarado JJ, Herrera B, Corrales L, Asch J, Paaby P.

Abstract: Costa Rica is recognized as one of the most diverse countries in species and ecosystems, in their terrestrial realm as well as in the marine. Besides this relevance, the country presents a delay on conservation and management of marine and coastal biodiversity, with respect to terrestrial. For 2006, the marine protected surface was 5,208.8 km2, with 331.5 km of coastline, in 20 protected areas. The country has made progress on the conservation priority sites identification for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity, with few efforts on marine planning. This research presents the analysis and results of the gap identification process, for marine and coastal biodiversity conservation in the protected areas system of Costa Rica. The analysis was built with the spatial information available on the presence and distribution of coastal and marine biodiversity, the establishment of the conservation goals and a threat analysis over the ecological integrity of this biodiversity. The selection of high-priority sites was carried out using spatial optimization techniques and the superposition over the current shape of marine protected areas, in order to identify representation gaps. A total of 19,076 km2 of conservation gaps were indentified, with 1,323 km2 in the Caribbean and 17,753 km2 in the Pacific. Recommendations are aimed at planning and strengthening the marine protected areas system, using the gaps identified as a framework. It is expected that the results of this study would be the scientific base needed for planning and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the country.

Endangered and Threatened Species: Final Rule To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle

50 CFR Part 226

Docket No. 0808061067–1664–03]

RIN 0648–AX06

Agency: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

Action: Final rule.

Summary: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), issue a final rule to revise the current critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) by designating additional areas within the Pacific Ocean. This designation includes approximately 16,910 square miles (43,798 square km) stretching along the California coast from Point Arena to Point Arguello east of the 3,000 meter depth contour; and 25,004 square miles (64,760 square km) stretching from Cape Flattery, Washington to Cape Blanco, Oregon east of the 2,000 meter depth contour. The designated areas comprise approximately 41,914 square miles (108,558 square km) of marine habitat and include waters from the ocean surface down to a maximum depth of 262 feet (80 m). Other Pacific waters within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) were evaluated based on the geographical area occupied by the species, but we determined that they were not eligible for designation, as they do not contain the feature identified as essential to the conservation of the species. The total estimated annualized economic impact associated with this designation is estimated to range between $188,000 and $9.1 million U.S. dollars.

Dates: This rule becomes effective February 27, 2012.

Commercial Renewable Energy Transmission on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Rhode Island, Notice of Proposed Grant Area and Request for Competitive Interest (RFCI) in the Area of the Deepwater Wind Block Island Transmission System Proposal

Docket No. BOEM–2012–0009

Agency: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior.

Action: Public Notice of an Unsolicited Request for a Transmission Cable Right-of-Way Grant Supporting RenewableEnergy, Request for Submission of Indications of Competitive Interest, and Request for Public Comment.

Summary: The purpose of this public notice is to: (1) Describe the Deepwater Wind Block Island LLC (Deepwater Wind) Transmission System (BITS) proposal submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM); (2) solicit submissions of indications of competitive interest for a right-of-way (ROW) grant for renewable energy purposes for the area identified in this notice; and (3) solicit public input regarding the proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and other uses of the area in which the proposal would be located.

Commercial Renewable Energy Transmission on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Mid-Atlantic States, Notice of Proposed Grant Area and Request for Competitive Interest (RFCI) in the Area of the Atlantic Wind Connection Proposal

Docket No. BOEM–2011–0023

Agency: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior.

Action: Provide Public Notice of an Unsolicited Application for a Transmission Right-of-Way Grant Supporting Renewable Energy, Request for Submission of Indications of Competitive Interest, and Request for Public Comment.

Summary: The purpose of this public notice is to: (1) Describe the Atlantic Wind Connection proposal submitted to BOEM; (2) solicit public input regarding the proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposal would be located; and (3) solicit submissions of indications of competitive interest for a right-of-way (ROW) grant for renewable energy purposes for the area identified in this notice.

Revisions of Boundaries, Regulations and Zoning Scheme for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary...

15 CFR Part 922; 50 CFR Part 1

Title: Revisions of Boundaries, Regulations and Zoning Scheme for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; Revisions of Fish and Wildlife Service and State of Florida Management Agreement for Submerged Lands Within Boundaries of the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges and Regulations; Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement; Notice of Scoping Meetings

Agency: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC) and National Wildlife Refuge System, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

Action: Notice of Intent to Conduct Scoping Meetings for the Revision of Boundaries, Regulations and Zoning Scheme for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges; and to Prepare an Environmental Assessment or Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Summary: In accordance with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Wildlife Refuge System of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have initiated a review of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS or sanctuary) boundaries, regulations and zoning scheme. This review of existing regulations and marine zoning may result in changes to regulations, marine zoning, such as altering boundaries of current zones, creating new zones, or amending the regulations that apply to individual zones, and possibly sanctuary boundaries. The review will also include the FWS’s Backcountry Management Plan and associated regulations, as authorized by the FWS and State of Florida Management Agreement for Submerged Lands within boundaries of the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges, to evaluate substantive progress toward implementing the backcountry management goals for the refuges.

National Ocean Council—National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan

Agency: Council on Environmental Quality

Action: Notice of availability; request for comments.

Summary: On July 19, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13547 establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (National Ocean Policy). As part of the President’s charge for Federal agencies to implement the National Ocean Policy, the National Ocean Council developed actions to achieve the Policy’s nine priority objectives, and to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Collectively, the actions are encompassed in a single draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan). The draft Implementation Plan describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential to public health and national security.


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