Posted on December 12, 2013 by linda
Management Plan Review
On December 10, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary released a proposed rule, comprehensive draft management plan and environmental assessment for public comment. The draft plan proposes regulatory changes to allow the use of weighted marker buoys in the sanctuary.
Currently, sanctuary regulations prohibit anchoring in the sanctuary and the placement of any material on the seafloor, including weights that mark locations during recreational diving or fishing. NOAA is proposing an exemption for weighted marker buoys to be used as a safety measure for scuba divers and to mark locations for fisherman.
Periodic management plan review is required by Congress to ensure that national marine sanctuaries continue to conserve, protect, to enhance their nationally significant living and cultural resources while allowing compatible commercial and recreational activities within the sanctuary.
Make your voice heard!
Comments on the proposed rule, draft management plan and environmental assessment will be considered if received by February 10, 2014. Written comments should be sent by mail to: George Sedberry, Acting Sanctuary Superintendent, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411.
Comments may also be submitted electronically via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal @ http://www.regulations.gov for Document NOAA-NOS-2013-0160, click the “Comment” icon and complete the required fields.
Three public hearings are also scheduled to take public comment:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm;
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm;
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm;
For more information contact:
Becky Shortland, Resource Protection Coordinator –
By mail: 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411
By email: Becky.Shortland@noaa.gov
By phone: 912-598-2381