Northeast Ocean Plan, 33213-33215 [2016-12196]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 101 / Wednesday, May 25, 2016 / Notices information collected to determine whether an entity has met all of the criteria to receive TsunamiReady Supporter recognition. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE II. Method of Collection RIN 0648–XE633 Applications may be faxed, mailed or emailed. Northeast Ocean Plan National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration III. Data OMB Control Number: 0648–0419. Form Number(s): None. Type of Review: Regular submission (revision of a currently approved information collection). Affected Public: Business or other forprofit organizations; not-for-profit institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 305. Estimated Time per Response: Initial applications, 2 hours; renewal applications, 1 hour. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 565. Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $150 in recordkeeping/reporting costs. IV. Request for Comments mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: May 19, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–12247 Filed 5–24–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–KE–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:19 May 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce; National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Joint Staff, Department of Defense; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Energy; U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security; Department of Transportation; and Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice with request for comments. AGENCY: The Northeast Regional Planning Body (NE RPB), which is composed of eight Federal agencies and departments, six States, six federally recognized Indian Tribes, and the New England Fishery Management Council, is requesting public comment on its draft Northeast Ocean Plan. The Northeast Ocean Plan, developed pursuant to the National Ocean Policy, was prepared collaboratively by the Regional Planning Body to build upon and improve existing Federal, State, and Tribal decision-making and planning processes in the Northeast Region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as lead Federal agency for the Northeast Regional Planning Body, is publishing this notice on behalf of the NE RPB. DATES: Submit comments on or before July 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by one of the following methods: • On-line at http:// neoceanplanning.org/plan. • Email: comment@ neoceanplanning.org. • Mail: Betsy Nicholson, Federal CoLead, Northeast Regional Planning Body, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. • NOAA, on behalf of the NE RPB, intends to make available to the public all comments, including names and addresses when provided. The Draft Northeast Ocean Plan may be obtained online at http://neoceanplanning.org/ plan. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Betsy Nicholson, Federal Co-Lead, Northeast Regional Planning Body, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33213 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background National Ocean Policy Executive Order 13547, signed July 19, 2010, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (National Ocean Policy), established a national policy to protect, maintain, and restore the health and biodiversity of the ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources; enhance the sustainability of the ocean and coastal economies; preserve our maritime heritage; support sustainable uses and access; provide for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification; increase our scientific understanding and awareness of changing environmental conditions, trends, and their causes; and perform duties in accordance with applicable international law, including respect for and preservation of navigational rights and freedoms, which are essential for the global economy, international peace, national security, and foreign policy interests. The National Ocean Policy encourages a comprehensive, adaptive, integrated, ecosystem-based, and transparent ocean planning process based on sound science for analyzing current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas. The National Ocean Policy also provides for the voluntary development of regional marine plans by intergovernmental regional planning bodies that build upon and improve existing Federal, State, and Tribal decision-making and planning processes. These regional plans, developed by, for, and in the regions, will enable a more integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing sustainable multiple uses across sectors and improve the conservation of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Northeast Regional Planning Body The NE RPB includes six States (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont); six federally recognized Indian Tribes (Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut, Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island, and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)); eight Federal agencies and departments (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of E:\FR\FM\25MYN1.SGM 25MYN1 33214 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 101 / Wednesday, May 25, 2016 / Notices Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and their component agencies (the National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration, the Maritime Administration, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Joint Staff, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); and the New England Fishery Management Council. The NE RPB is not a regulatory body and has no independent legal authority to regulate or direct Federal, State, or Tribal entities, nor does the draft Northeast Ocean Plan (NE Ocean Plan or the Plan), described below, augment or subtract from any entity’s existing statutory or other authorities. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Development of the Draft Northeast Ocean Plan The NE RPB met for the first time in November 2012. The NE RPB directed the formal processes and developed the draft NE Ocean Plan over the course of 3–1/2 years. The NE RPB process leading to the draft NE Ocean Plan included a total of seven multi-day public meetings between November 2012 and November 2015. Between NE RPB meetings, there was ongoing outreach to obtain public feedback, identify and discuss issues, review data and procure scientific input. For example, members of the NE RPB met with expert work groups, stakeholder groups, environmental groups, and marine industries, including commercial fishing and shipping groups. The draft NE Ocean Plan is based on science and informed by stakeholder data and input. Throughout the planning process, stakeholders were involved in developing data products for human activities (shipping, fishing, recreation, energy, and aquaculture, for example) and marine life and habitat (through review of the methods, analyses, and draft products for spatial data characterizing species and their habitat) and were encouraged to review spatial data on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal (the Portal). In collaboration with the Northeast Ocean Data Portal Working Group, the NE RPB developed the Portal as an on-line source that incorporates maps and data characterizing ocean resources and mapping human activities. Since June 2013, the Portal has averaged more than 5,000 visits from 2,400 unique visitors per month. The Portal is available online at www.northeastoceandata.org. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:19 May 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 II. The Draft Northeast Ocean Plan The draft NE Ocean Plan, developed using the best available science and knowledge, provides an integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing uses of the northeast marine environment. The Plan is a forward-looking document intended to strengthen interagency coordination, planning, and policy implementation, and to enhance public participation. The Plan has three main goals: (1) Healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems; (2) effective decision-making; and (3) compatibility among past, current, and future ocean uses. The Plan promotes the use of data from the Portal to inform agency actions, enhance stakeholder input and involvement, locate potential areas of conflict, and identify additional information and science needs. The Plan also describes best practices for inter-agency coordination as well as coordination among Federal agencies, Tribes, States, and stakeholders. The Plan enhances the tools and information available for Federal agency actions and planning, clarifying alternatives and opportunities within the context of Tribal and State agency actions, and by increasing coordination across these governments. The draft NE Ocean Plan does not augment or subtract from any entity’s existing statutory or other authorities. The Plan provides a strategy to monitor and analyze trends in ecosystem health, and undertake efforts to communicate progress towards achieving the three main goals. The Plan is a foundation, not a finished structure, and it will continue to evolve as new trends, information, and needs emerge. III. Implementation of the NE Ocean Plan Executive Order 13547, which adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Final Recommendations), establishes a process for the National Ocean Council (NOC or Council) to review and certify each regional marine plan to ensure it is consistent with the National Ocean Policy and includes the essential elements described in the Final Recommendations. Consistent with Executive Order 13547, each NOC member will, as described in the Final Recommendations, and to the fullest extent consistent with applicable law, comply with those regional plans certified by the NOC. The NOC has issued guidance to the NOC member agencies in the form of the Marine Planning Handbook (Handbook). The PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Handbook calls for the NOC member agencies to concur that regional marine plans submitted by the regional planning bodies are consistent with the substantive and procedural standards set forth in the Final Recommendations. The NOC concurrence operates as the certification described in Executive Order 13547. By concurring that the NE Ocean Plan was developed in accordance with the substantive and procedural standards in the Final Recommendations, the NOC certifies that Federal members of the NE RPB will use the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform their actions consistent with their existing statutory and regulatory authorities. The Federal members of the NE RPB administer a wide range of statutes and programs affecting the marine environment in the Northeast. These Federal departments and agencies carry out actions under Federal laws involving a wide range of regulatory responsibilities and non-regulatory missions and management activities throughout the Nation’s waterways and the ocean. These activities include managing and developing marine transportation systems, national security and homeland defense activities, regulating ocean discharges, siting energy facilities, permitting sand removal and beach re-nourishment, managing national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national marine sanctuaries, regulating commercial and recreational fishing, and managing activities affecting threatened and endangered species and migratory birds. The specific manner and mechanism a Federal agency uses to implement the final NE Ocean Plan will depend upon that agency’s mission, authorities, and activities in the marine environment. The Federal members of the NE RPB will publicly describe the administrative mechanisms they will use to implement the NE Ocean Plan when the NE RPB submits the Plan to the NOC for review and concurrence. If the NOC concurs (i.e., certifies) that the NE Ocean Plan is consistent with Executive Order 13547, the Final Recommendations, and the NOC Handbook, each Federal NE RPB member will incorporate the final NE Ocean Plan into their planning processes and internal agency documents, and use the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform their decisions and actions, consistent with applicable law. Federal NE RPB members with regulatory responsibilities will incorporate the final NE Ocean Plan into their pre-planning, planning, and permitting to guide and inform Federal agency internal and external permitting E:\FR\FM\25MYN1.SGM 25MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 101 / Wednesday, May 25, 2016 / Notices decisions, environmental compliance, resource management plans, and other actions taken pursuant to existing statutory and regulatory authorities. These agencies will ensure their scientists, managers, decision-makers, and analysts align their actions with the NE Ocean Plan to the fullest extent possible under existing statutory and regulatory authorities. The NE Ocean Plan does not create new authorities, regulations, or Federal agency missions. All Federal activities will continue to be managed under existing statutory and regulatory authorities. The RPB member State and Tribal governments and New England Fishery Management Council are in the process of describing how they can use the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform their activities and decisions. IV. Conclusion mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Through Executive Order 13547, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, President Obama established a National Ocean Policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources; enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies; preserve our maritime heritage; support sustainable uses and access; provide for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification; and coordinate with our national security and foreign policy interests. The NE RPB anticipates the NE Ocean Plan will increase the sharing of information and data across resource managers, stakeholders and the public; enhance decision-making through collaboration and coordination within NOAA and among Federal, State and Tribal governments; and provide for an improved information and data system that characterizes human activities and natural resources in Northeast waters from the coast to 200 nautical miles offshore. This informational overlay, along with the best practices for improved coordination, will improve the context for decisions affecting the resources and coastal and ocean waters of the Northeast region. Authority: Executive Order 13547, ‘‘Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts and the Great Lakes’’ (July 19, 2010). Cathryn D. Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–12196 Filed 5–24–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:19 May 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hydrographic Services Review Panel National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of membership solicitation for Hydrographic Services Review Panel. AGENCY: In accordance with the Hydrographic Service Improvements Act Amendments of 2002, Public Law 107–372, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is required to solicit nominations for membership at least once a year for the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). The HSRP, a Federal advisory committee, advises the Administrator on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act and such other appropriate matters as the Administrator refers to the Panel for review and advice. Those responsibilities and authorities include, but are not limited to: Acquiring and disseminating hydrographic data and providing hydrographic services, as those terms are defined in the Act; promulgating standards for hydrographic data and services; ensuring comprehensive geographic coverage of hydrographic services; and testing, developing, and operating vessels, equipment, and technologies necessary to ensure safe navigation and maintain operational expertise in hydrographic data acquisition and hydrographic services. The Act states ‘‘the voting members of the Panel shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields relating to hydrographic data and hydrographic services, marine transportation, port administration, vessel pilotage, coastal and fishery management, and other disciplines as determined appropriate by the Administrator.’’ The NOAA Administrator seeks and encourages individuals with expertise in marine navigation, port administration, marine shipping or other intermodal transportation industries, cartography and geographic information systems, geodesy, physical oceanography coastal resource management, including coastal resilience and emergency response, and other related fields. To apply for SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33215 membership on the Panel, applicants are requested to submit the following five items and answer five response questions. The entire package should be a maximum length of seven pages or fewer. NOAA is an equal opportunity employer. (1) A cover letter that responds to the five questions listed below as a statement of interest to serve on the panel, ‘‘Short Response Questions’’ below. (2) Highlight the nominee’s specific area(s) of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Panel from the list in the Federal Register Notice; (3) A current resume. (4) A short biography of 400 to 600 words. (5) The nominee’s full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Short Response Questions (1) List the area(s) of expertise, as listed above, which you would best represent on this Panel. (2) List the geographic region(s) of the country with which you primarily associate your expertise. (3) Describe your leadership or professional experiences which you believe will contribute to the effectiveness of this panel. (4) Describe your familiarity and experience with NOAA navigation data, products, and services. (5) Generally describe the breadth and scope of stakeholders, users, or other groups whose views and input you believe you can share with the panel. DATES: Solicitation of nomination is on an ongoing basis through June 30, 2017. The HSRP maintains a pool of candidates to fulfill the HSIA requirements on membership solicitation. Although there are no current vacancies on the HSRP, this solicitation seeks to update the current pool of candidates for consideration of appointment for potential future vacancies on the Panel. Your application will be kept on file for the next call for nominations in summer 2017 which will fill vacancies in 2018. You will not need to reapply in 2017. ADDRESSES: Nominations will be accepted by email and should be sent to: Hydroservices.panel@noaa.gov; or Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov. You will receive a confirmation response. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis, NOAA, telephone: 301–713–2750 x166. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 33 U.S.C. 883a, et seq., NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) is responsible for providing nautical charts and related E:\FR\FM\25MYN1.SGM 25MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 101 (Wednesday, May 25, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33213-33215]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-12196]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE633


Northeast Ocean Plan

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of 
Commerce; National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau 
of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior; U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers, the Joint Staff, Department of Defense; Environmental 
Protection Agency; Department of Energy; U.S. Coast Guard, Department 
of Homeland Security; Department of Transportation; and Department of 
Agriculture.

ACTION: Notice with request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Northeast Regional Planning Body (NE RPB), which is 
composed of eight Federal agencies and departments, six States, six 
federally recognized Indian Tribes, and the New England Fishery 
Management Council, is requesting public comment on its draft Northeast 
Ocean Plan. The Northeast Ocean Plan, developed pursuant to the 
National Ocean Policy, was prepared collaboratively by the Regional 
Planning Body to build upon and improve existing Federal, State, and 
Tribal decision-making and planning processes in the Northeast Region. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as lead 
Federal agency for the Northeast Regional Planning Body, is publishing 
this notice on behalf of the NE RPB.

DATES: Submit comments on or before July 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by one of the following 
methods:
     On-line at http://neoceanplanning.org/plan.
     Email: comment@neoceanplanning.org.
     Mail: Betsy Nicholson, Federal Co-Lead, Northeast Regional 
Planning Body, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.
     NOAA, on behalf of the NE RPB, intends to make available 
to the public all comments, including names and addresses when 
provided. The Draft Northeast Ocean Plan may be obtained online at 
http://neoceanplanning.org/plan.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Betsy Nicholson, Federal Co-Lead, 
Northeast Regional Planning Body, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, 
MA 01930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

National Ocean Policy

    Executive Order 13547, signed July 19, 2010, Stewardship of the 
Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (National Ocean Policy), 
established a national policy to protect, maintain, and restore the 
health and biodiversity of the ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
ecosystems and resources; enhance the sustainability of the ocean and 
coastal economies; preserve our maritime heritage; support sustainable 
uses and access; provide for adaptive management to enhance our 
understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean 
acidification; increase our scientific understanding and awareness of 
changing environmental conditions, trends, and their causes; and 
perform duties in accordance with applicable international law, 
including respect for and preservation of navigational rights and 
freedoms, which are essential for the global economy, international 
peace, national security, and foreign policy interests. The National 
Ocean Policy encourages a comprehensive, adaptive, integrated, 
ecosystem-based, and transparent ocean planning process based on sound 
science for analyzing current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal 
areas. The National Ocean Policy also provides for the voluntary 
development of regional marine plans by intergovernmental regional 
planning bodies that build upon and improve existing Federal, State, 
and Tribal decision-making and planning processes. These regional 
plans, developed by, for, and in the regions, will enable a more 
integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, flexible, and proactive 
approach to planning and managing sustainable multiple uses across 
sectors and improve the conservation of the ocean, our coasts, and the 
Great Lakes.

Northeast Regional Planning Body

    The NE RPB includes six States (Connecticut, Rhode Island, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont); six federally 
recognized Indian Tribes (Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Houlton Band of 
Maliseet Indians, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, Mohegan Indian 
Tribe of Connecticut, Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island, and 
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)); eight Federal agencies and 
departments (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. 
Department of

[[Page 33214]]

Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and their 
component agencies (the National Oceanic Atmospheric and 
Administration, the Maritime Administration, the National Park Service, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Joint Staff, and the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers); and the New England Fishery Management Council. 
The NE RPB is not a regulatory body and has no independent legal 
authority to regulate or direct Federal, State, or Tribal entities, nor 
does the draft Northeast Ocean Plan (NE Ocean Plan or the Plan), 
described below, augment or subtract from any entity's existing 
statutory or other authorities.

Development of the Draft Northeast Ocean Plan

    The NE RPB met for the first time in November 2012.
    The NE RPB directed the formal processes and developed the draft NE 
Ocean Plan over the course of 3-1/2 years. The NE RPB process leading 
to the draft NE Ocean Plan included a total of seven multi-day public 
meetings between November 2012 and November 2015. Between NE RPB 
meetings, there was ongoing outreach to obtain public feedback, 
identify and discuss issues, review data and procure scientific input. 
For example, members of the NE RPB met with expert work groups, 
stakeholder groups, environmental groups, and marine industries, 
including commercial fishing and shipping groups.
    The draft NE Ocean Plan is based on science and informed by 
stakeholder data and input. Throughout the planning process, 
stakeholders were involved in developing data products for human 
activities (shipping, fishing, recreation, energy, and aquaculture, for 
example) and marine life and habitat (through review of the methods, 
analyses, and draft products for spatial data characterizing species 
and their habitat) and were encouraged to review spatial data on the 
Northeast Ocean Data Portal (the Portal). In collaboration with the 
Northeast Ocean Data Portal Working Group, the NE RPB developed the 
Portal as an on-line source that incorporates maps and data 
characterizing ocean resources and mapping human activities. Since June 
2013, the Portal has averaged more than 5,000 visits from 2,400 unique 
visitors per month. The Portal is available on-line at 
www.northeastoceandata.org.

II. The Draft Northeast Ocean Plan

    The draft NE Ocean Plan, developed using the best available science 
and knowledge, provides an integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, 
flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing uses of the 
northeast marine environment. The Plan is a forward-looking document 
intended to strengthen interagency coordination, planning, and policy 
implementation, and to enhance public participation. The Plan has three 
main goals: (1) Healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems; (2) effective 
decision-making; and (3) compatibility among past, current, and future 
ocean uses. The Plan promotes the use of data from the Portal to inform 
agency actions, enhance stakeholder input and involvement, locate 
potential areas of conflict, and identify additional information and 
science needs. The Plan also describes best practices for inter-agency 
coordination as well as coordination among Federal agencies, Tribes, 
States, and stakeholders. The Plan enhances the tools and information 
available for Federal agency actions and planning, clarifying 
alternatives and opportunities within the context of Tribal and State 
agency actions, and by increasing coordination across these 
governments.
    The draft NE Ocean Plan does not augment or subtract from any 
entity's existing statutory or other authorities. The Plan provides a 
strategy to monitor and analyze trends in ecosystem health, and 
undertake efforts to communicate progress towards achieving the three 
main goals. The Plan is a foundation, not a finished structure, and it 
will continue to evolve as new trends, information, and needs emerge.

III. Implementation of the NE Ocean Plan

    Executive Order 13547, which adopts the Final Recommendations of 
the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Final Recommendations), 
establishes a process for the National Ocean Council (NOC or Council) 
to review and certify each regional marine plan to ensure it is 
consistent with the National Ocean Policy and includes the essential 
elements described in the Final Recommendations.
    Consistent with Executive Order 13547, each NOC member will, as 
described in the Final Recommendations, and to the fullest extent 
consistent with applicable law, comply with those regional plans 
certified by the NOC. The NOC has issued guidance to the NOC member 
agencies in the form of the Marine Planning Handbook (Handbook). The 
Handbook calls for the NOC member agencies to concur that regional 
marine plans submitted by the regional planning bodies are consistent 
with the substantive and procedural standards set forth in the Final 
Recommendations. The NOC concurrence operates as the certification 
described in Executive Order 13547. By concurring that the NE Ocean 
Plan was developed in accordance with the substantive and procedural 
standards in the Final Recommendations, the NOC certifies that Federal 
members of the NE RPB will use the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform 
their actions consistent with their existing statutory and regulatory 
authorities.
    The Federal members of the NE RPB administer a wide range of 
statutes and programs affecting the marine environment in the 
Northeast. These Federal departments and agencies carry out actions 
under Federal laws involving a wide range of regulatory 
responsibilities and non-regulatory missions and management activities 
throughout the Nation's waterways and the ocean. These activities 
include managing and developing marine transportation systems, national 
security and homeland defense activities, regulating ocean discharges, 
siting energy facilities, permitting sand removal and beach re-
nourishment, managing national parks, national wildlife refuges, and 
national marine sanctuaries, regulating commercial and recreational 
fishing, and managing activities affecting threatened and endangered 
species and migratory birds.
    The specific manner and mechanism a Federal agency uses to 
implement the final NE Ocean Plan will depend upon that agency's 
mission, authorities, and activities in the marine environment. The 
Federal members of the NE RPB will publicly describe the administrative 
mechanisms they will use to implement the NE Ocean Plan when the NE RPB 
submits the Plan to the NOC for review and concurrence.
    If the NOC concurs (i.e., certifies) that the NE Ocean Plan is 
consistent with Executive Order 13547, the Final Recommendations, and 
the NOC Handbook, each Federal NE RPB member will incorporate the final 
NE Ocean Plan into their planning processes and internal agency 
documents, and use the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform their 
decisions and actions, consistent with applicable law. Federal NE RPB 
members with regulatory responsibilities will incorporate the final NE 
Ocean Plan into their pre-planning, planning, and permitting to guide 
and inform Federal agency internal and external permitting

[[Page 33215]]

decisions, environmental compliance, resource management plans, and 
other actions taken pursuant to existing statutory and regulatory 
authorities. These agencies will ensure their scientists, managers, 
decision-makers, and analysts align their actions with the NE Ocean 
Plan to the fullest extent possible under existing statutory and 
regulatory authorities. The NE Ocean Plan does not create new 
authorities, regulations, or Federal agency missions. All Federal 
activities will continue to be managed under existing statutory and 
regulatory authorities.
    The RPB member State and Tribal governments and New England Fishery 
Management Council are in the process of describing how they can use 
the NE Ocean Plan to guide and inform their activities and decisions.

IV. Conclusion

    Through Executive Order 13547, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our 
Coasts, and the Great Lakes, President Obama established a National 
Ocean Policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of 
the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources; 
enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies; preserve our 
maritime heritage; support sustainable uses and access; provide for 
adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to 
respond to climate change and ocean acidification; and coordinate with 
our national security and foreign policy interests.
    The NE RPB anticipates the NE Ocean Plan will increase the sharing 
of information and data across resource managers, stakeholders and the 
public; enhance decision-making through collaboration and coordination 
within NOAA and among Federal, State and Tribal governments; and 
provide for an improved information and data system that characterizes 
human activities and natural resources in Northeast waters from the 
coast to 200 nautical miles offshore. This informational overlay, along 
with the best practices for improved coordination, will improve the 
context for decisions affecting the resources and coastal and ocean 
waters of the Northeast region.

    Authority:  Executive Order 13547, ``Stewardship of the Ocean, 
Our Coasts and the Great Lakes'' (July 19, 2010).

Cathryn D. Sullivan,
Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-12196 Filed 5-24-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P