Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management Plan, 74046-74048 [2013-29290]

Download as PDF 74046 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2013 / Proposed Rules for the amount of the item as of the close of its banking day on the day it receives the item); and (B) settle for the item so that the proceeds of the settlement are available to its administrative Reserve Bank by 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on the Reserve Bank’s next banking day or such later time as provided in the Reserve Bank’s operating circular, or return the item by midnight of the day it receives the item. If the paying bank fails to settle for or return a cash item in accordance with this paragraph (b)(4)(i)(B), it shall be subject to any applicable overdraft charges. Settlement under this paragraph (b)(4)(i)(B) satisfies the settlement requirements of paragraph (b)(4)(i)(A) of this section. * * * * * By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 25, 2013. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2013–28747 Filed 12–9–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 922 [Docket No. 130813710–3710–01] RIN 0648–BD60 Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management Plan Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: NOAA is proposing to update the regulations and management plan for Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or Sanctuary). The regulations would be revised to clarify the prohibition on anchoring and add an exemption to allow the use of weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. A draft environmental assessment has been prepared that includes analysis of the consequences of this proposed action. A draft management plan outlining management priorities for GRNMS for the next 5–10 years has also been prepared. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule, emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:46 Dec 09, 2013 Jkt 232001 draft environmental assessment, and draft management plan. Comments will be considered if received by February 10, 2014. A Public hearing will be held as detailed below: DATES: (1) January 7, 2014, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Pooler Public Library, 216 S. Rogers St., Pooler, Georgia (2) January 8, 2014, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Statesboro Regional Library, 124 S. Main St., Statesboro, Georgia (3) January 9, 2014, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Marshes of Glynn Library, 208 Gloucester St., Brunswick, Georgia You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NOS–2013–0160, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA–NOS–2013– 0160, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, Attn: Greg McFall, Superintendent. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Shortland at (912) 598–2381. Copies of the proposed rule, draft environmental assessment, and draft management plan can be downloaded or viewed on the internet at www.regulations.gov (search for docket # NOAA–NOS–2013–0160) or at http:// graysreef.noaa.gov. Copies can also be obtained by contacting Resource Protection Coordinator Becky Shortland, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Georgia; or, becky.shortland@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 I. Background A. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary NOAA designated GRNMS as the nation’s fourth national marine sanctuary in 1981 for the purposes of: Protecting the quality of this unique and fragile ecological community; promoting scientific understanding of this live bottom ecosystem; and enhancing public awareness and wise use of this significant regional resource. GRNMS protects 22 square miles of open ocean and submerged lands of particularly dense and nearshore patches of productive live bottom habitat. The sanctuary is influenced by complex ocean currents and serves as a mixing zone for temperate (colder water) and sub-tropical species. The series of rock ledges and sand expanses has produced a complex habitat of caves, burrows, troughs, and overhangs that provide a solid base upon which temperate and tropical marine flora and fauna attach and flourish. B. Need for action The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) section 304(e) requires that NOAA review and evaluate, among other things, the site-specific management techniques and strategies to ensure that each sanctuary continues to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA. Emerging issues, such as the effects of invasive lionfish on sanctuary resources, for example, are not adequately addressed in the 2006 plan. The new draft management plan reflects some of these emerging issues and presents management priorities for GRNMS for the next 5–10 years. These proposed regulatory changes would, in the case of the anchoring prohibition, clarify that attempting to anchor is also prohibited because deployment of anchors, even if the anchors do not set on the bottom, can result in impacts to the submerged lands. In the case of the weighted marker buoys, these proposed regulatory changes would allow the placement of weighted marker buoys used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities. The purpose of deployment of a weight on the bottom is for safety or convenience while conducting diving and recreational fishing activities, since anchoring is not allowed. II. Summary of the Proposed Revisions to GRNMS Regulations The proposed regulatory action would clarify a prohibition and add an exemption. E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2013 / Proposed Rules (a) Clarification of anchoring prohibition: NOAA is proposing to clarify the prohibition on anchoring in the sanctuary (15 CFR 922.92 (a)(10)) by adding ‘‘. . . or attempting to anchor’’ to GRNMS’s existing anchoring regulation. This would facilitate law enforcement efforts and protect sanctuary resources by allowing authorized officers to enforce the anchoring prohibition even when an anchor had not yet been set in the submerged lands of the sanctuary. Enforcement officials have experienced occasions where sanctuary users were ‘‘attempting’’ to anchor in GRNMS despite the prohibition, but because the anchor had not yet been ‘‘set’’, the prohibition did not apply. This amendment would better align the regulation with its original intent to minimize disturbance to the submerged lands, which can occur during deployment of the anchor even if it has not been set on the bottom. (b) Exemption for marker buoys: Current GRNMS regulations prohibit placing any material on the submerged lands of the sanctuary, including weights for marker buoys that sit on the seafloor to mark locations during recreational diving or fishing (15 CFR 922.92 (a)(2)). NOAA is proposing to add an exemption to this regulation for bottom placement of weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker buoy would not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, would be attached with not greater than one-fourth inch (1⁄4″) line and would be removed from the sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended could be removed by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, without notice. By ‘‘continuously tended’’, NOAA means that the buoy is in use by fishers or divers at the time it is observed and that the fishers’ or divers’ boat is in some proximity to the buoy. The weighted marker buoys would be used for diving safety (markers provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their boat drifts. Because anchoring in GRNMS is currently prohibited, recreational diving must be conducted by ‘‘live-boat’’ (non-anchored vessels), and recreational fishing by trolling or VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:46 Dec 09, 2013 Jkt 232001 drifting with a vessel. Public comment and Sanctuary Advisory Council discussion during scoping for the management plan review indicated strong support for regulatory exemption of weighted marker buoys. Because the use of marker buoys for recreational fishing is more a matter of convenience than safety, the benefit of this action to recreational fishing would be minimal; however, the impact of weighted marker buoys from diving or fishing on sanctuary resources is negligible and essentially identical and therefore, NOAA is proposing to allow this practice for both of these activities. III. Classification A. National Environmental Policy Act NOAA has prepared a draft environmental assessment to evaluate the impacts of the proposed rulemaking. Copies are available at the address and Web site listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. B. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866. C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment NOAA has concluded this regulatory action does not have federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism assessment under Executive Order 13132. D. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NOAA expects the proposed regulatory exemption on the use of small, weighted marker buoys in the sanctuary to result in beneficial effects for recreational users of GRNMS by: (a) Enhancing dive opportunities at the Sanctuary and, (b) enhancing bottom fishing opportunities within the for-hire charter boat fishing and private recreational boating industries. It is estimated that there are currently one or two diving operators occasionally taking people out to the sanctuary. A 2008 survey (Ehler 2010) identified 15 charter boats that utilize GRNMS as one of their fishing locations. The survey found that approximately 40 percent of their fishing activity took place in the sanctuary. In 2012, NOAA estimated PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74047 that 245 people participated in bottomfishing from private household boats in the sanctuary accounting for a little over 3,000 person-days of bottom-fishing. An additional 36 people participated in diving activities in the sanctuary via access from private household boats and accounted for a little over 300 persondays of activity (Leeworthy 2013). NOAA expects this rule to slightly increase the number of bottom-fishing trips from private household boats in the sanctuary with small positive benefits to the current participants and some additional small economic benefits to recreational fishing related economies based on increased activity and spending. All spending by the recreational sector would benefit small businesses that provide goods and services to recreational participants. E. Paperwork Reduction Act This proposed rule would not require any additional collection of information, and therefore no paperwork reduction act action is required. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. IV. Request for Comments NOAA requests comments on this proposed rule for 60 days after publication of this notice. V. References A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request (see ADDRESSES section). List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922 Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Fishing gear, Marine resources, Natural resources, Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Wildlife. (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary Program). Dated: November 29, 2013. Holly A. Bamford, Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, NOAA proposes amending part 922, title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1 74048 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 237 / Tuesday, December 10, 2013 / Proposed Rules PART 922—NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 922 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq. 2. In § 922.92, revise paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(10) to read as follows: ■ § 922.92 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Sanctuary-wide. (a) * * * (2) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, or constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary except weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker buoy shall not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, shall be attached with not greater than onefourth inch (1⁄4″) line and shall be removed from the Sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended may be removed by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, without notice. * * * * * (10) Anchoring, or attempting to anchor, any vessel in the Sanctuary, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section when responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2013–29290 Filed 12–9–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–NK–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG–2013–0362] RIN 1625–AA00 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Eleventh Coast Guard District Annual Fireworks Events Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to amend several permanent safety zones located in the Eleventh Coast Guard District that are established to protect public safety during annual firework displays. These amendments will SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:46 Dec 09, 2013 Jkt 232001 standardize the safety zone language, update listed events, delete events that are no longer occurring, add new annual fireworks events, and establish a standardized format using a table to list these recurring annual fireworks events. When these safety zones are activated, and thus subject to enforcement, this rule would limit the movement of vessels within the established firework display area. DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before January 9, 2014. Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before December 24, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2013–0362 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202– 366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these three methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email LTJG Blake Morris, Eleventh Coast Guard District Prevention Division, Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 510–437–3801, email Blake.J.Morris@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. 1. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 rulemaking (USCG–2013–0362), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online at http:// www.regulations.gov, or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number ‘‘USCG–2013–0362’’ in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ on the line associated with this rulemaking. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change the rule based on your comments. 2. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number ‘‘USCG–2013–0362’’ in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 3. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy E:\FR\FM\10DEP1.SGM 10DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 237 (Tuesday, December 10, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74046-74048]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29290]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

15 CFR Part 922

[Docket No. 130813710-3710-01]
RIN 0648-BD60


Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management 
Plan

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean 
Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NOAA is proposing to update the regulations and management 
plan for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or Sanctuary). 
The regulations would be revised to clarify the prohibition on 
anchoring and add an exemption to allow the use of weighted marker 
buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful 
fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and 
not capable of holding a boat at anchor. A draft environmental 
assessment has been prepared that includes analysis of the consequences 
of this proposed action. A draft management plan outlining management 
priorities for GRNMS for the next 5-10 years has also been prepared. 
NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule, draft 
environmental assessment, and draft management plan.

DATES: Comments will be considered if received by February 10, 2014. A 
Public hearing will be held as detailed below:

(1) January 7, 2014, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Pooler Public Library, 216 S. 
Rogers St., Pooler, Georgia
(2) January 8, 2014, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Statesboro Regional Library, 124 
S. Main St., Statesboro, Georgia
(3) January 9, 2014, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Marshes of Glynn Library, 208 
Gloucester St., Brunswick, Georgia

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NOS-2013-0160, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2013-0160, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean 
Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, Attn: Greg McFall, Superintendent.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Shortland at (912) 598-2381.
    Copies of the proposed rule, draft environmental assessment, and 
draft management plan can be downloaded or viewed on the internet at 
www.regulations.gov (search for docket  NOAA-NOS-2013-0160) or 
at http://graysreef.noaa.gov. Copies can also be obtained by contacting 
Resource Protection Coordinator Becky Shortland, Gray's Reef National 
Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Georgia; or, 
becky.shortland@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

A. Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

    NOAA designated GRNMS as the nation's fourth national marine 
sanctuary in 1981 for the purposes of: Protecting the quality of this 
unique and fragile ecological community; promoting scientific 
understanding of this live bottom ecosystem; and enhancing public 
awareness and wise use of this significant regional resource. GRNMS 
protects 22 square miles of open ocean and submerged lands of 
particularly dense and nearshore patches of productive live bottom 
habitat. The sanctuary is influenced by complex ocean currents and 
serves as a mixing zone for temperate (colder water) and sub-tropical 
species. The series of rock ledges and sand expanses has produced a 
complex habitat of caves, burrows, troughs, and overhangs that provide 
a solid base upon which temperate and tropical marine flora and fauna 
attach and flourish.

B. Need for action

    The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 1431 
et seq.) section 304(e) requires that NOAA review and evaluate, among 
other things, the site-specific management techniques and strategies to 
ensure that each sanctuary continues to fulfill the purposes and 
policies of the NMSA. Emerging issues, such as the effects of invasive 
lionfish on sanctuary resources, for example, are not adequately 
addressed in the 2006 plan. The new draft management plan reflects some 
of these emerging issues and presents management priorities for GRNMS 
for the next 5-10 years. These proposed regulatory changes would, in 
the case of the anchoring prohibition, clarify that attempting to 
anchor is also prohibited because deployment of anchors, even if the 
anchors do not set on the bottom, can result in impacts to the 
submerged lands. In the case of the weighted marker buoys, these 
proposed regulatory changes would allow the placement of weighted 
marker buoys used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities. 
The purpose of deployment of a weight on the bottom is for safety or 
convenience while conducting diving and recreational fishing 
activities, since anchoring is not allowed.

II. Summary of the Proposed Revisions to GRNMS Regulations

    The proposed regulatory action would clarify a prohibition and add 
an exemption.

[[Page 74047]]

    (a) Clarification of anchoring prohibition:
    NOAA is proposing to clarify the prohibition on anchoring in the 
sanctuary (15 CFR 922.92 (a)(10)) by adding ``. . . or attempting to 
anchor'' to GRNMS's existing anchoring regulation. This would 
facilitate law enforcement efforts and protect sanctuary resources by 
allowing authorized officers to enforce the anchoring prohibition even 
when an anchor had not yet been set in the submerged lands of the 
sanctuary. Enforcement officials have experienced occasions where 
sanctuary users were ``attempting'' to anchor in GRNMS despite the 
prohibition, but because the anchor had not yet been ``set'', the 
prohibition did not apply. This amendment would better align the 
regulation with its original intent to minimize disturbance to the 
submerged lands, which can occur during deployment of the anchor even 
if it has not been set on the bottom.
    (b) Exemption for marker buoys:
    Current GRNMS regulations prohibit placing any material on the 
submerged lands of the sanctuary, including weights for marker buoys 
that sit on the seafloor to mark locations during recreational diving 
or fishing (15 CFR 922.92 (a)(2)). NOAA is proposing to add an 
exemption to this regulation for bottom placement of weighted marker 
buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful 
fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and 
not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker 
buoy would not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, would be 
attached with not greater than one-fourth inch (\1/4\'') line and would 
be removed from the sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. 
Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended could be 
removed by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized 
officer, without notice. By ``continuously tended'', NOAA means that 
the buoy is in use by fishers or divers at the time it is observed and 
that the fishers' or divers' boat is in some proximity to the buoy.
    The weighted marker buoys would be used for diving safety (markers 
provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site 
and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist 
recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their 
boat drifts. Because anchoring in GRNMS is currently prohibited, 
recreational diving must be conducted by ``live-boat'' (non-anchored 
vessels), and recreational fishing by trolling or drifting with a 
vessel. Public comment and Sanctuary Advisory Council discussion during 
scoping for the management plan review indicated strong support for 
regulatory exemption of weighted marker buoys. Because the use of 
marker buoys for recreational fishing is more a matter of convenience 
than safety, the benefit of this action to recreational fishing would 
be minimal; however, the impact of weighted marker buoys from diving or 
fishing on sanctuary resources is negligible and essentially identical 
and therefore, NOAA is proposing to allow this practice for both of 
these activities.

III. Classification

A. National Environmental Policy Act

    NOAA has prepared a draft environmental assessment to evaluate the 
impacts of the proposed rulemaking. Copies are available at the address 
and Web site listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule.

B. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant as 
that term is defined in Executive Order 12866.

C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment

    NOAA has concluded this regulatory action does not have federalism 
implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism 
assessment under Executive Order 13132.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    NOAA expects the proposed regulatory exemption on the use of small, 
weighted marker buoys in the sanctuary to result in beneficial effects 
for recreational users of GRNMS by: (a) Enhancing dive opportunities at 
the Sanctuary and, (b) enhancing bottom fishing opportunities within 
the for-hire charter boat fishing and private recreational boating 
industries.
    It is estimated that there are currently one or two diving 
operators occasionally taking people out to the sanctuary. A 2008 
survey (Ehler 2010) identified 15 charter boats that utilize GRNMS as 
one of their fishing locations. The survey found that approximately 40 
percent of their fishing activity took place in the sanctuary. In 2012, 
NOAA estimated that 245 people participated in bottom-fishing from 
private household boats in the sanctuary accounting for a little over 
3,000 person-days of bottom-fishing. An additional 36 people 
participated in diving activities in the sanctuary via access from 
private household boats and accounted for a little over 300 person-days 
of activity (Leeworthy 2013). NOAA expects this rule to slightly 
increase the number of bottom-fishing trips from private household 
boats in the sanctuary with small positive benefits to the current 
participants and some additional small economic benefits to 
recreational fishing related economies based on increased activity and 
spending. All spending by the recreational sector would benefit small 
businesses that provide goods and services to recreational 
participants.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule would not require any additional collection of 
information, and therefore no paperwork reduction act action is 
required. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.

IV. Request for Comments

    NOAA requests comments on this proposed rule for 60 days after 
publication of this notice.

V. References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922

    Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Fishing gear, 
Marine resources, Natural resources, Penalties, Recreation and 
recreation areas, Wildlife.

(Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary 
Program).

    Dated: November 29, 2013.
Holly A. Bamford,
Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration.
    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, NOAA proposes 
amending part 922, title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations as 
follows:

[[Page 74048]]

PART 922--NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 922 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.
0
2. In Sec.  922.92, revise paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(10) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  922.92  Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities--Sanctuary-
wide.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, or 
constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other 
matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary except weighted marker 
buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful 
fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and 
not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker 
buoy shall not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, shall be 
attached with not greater than one-fourth inch (\1/4\'') line and shall 
be removed from the Sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. 
Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended may be removed 
by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, 
without notice.
* * * * *
    (10) Anchoring, or attempting to anchor, any vessel in the 
Sanctuary, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section when 
responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the 
environment.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-29290 Filed 12-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P