Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan, 44040-44042 [2016-15588]

Download as PDF 44040 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Notices Register notice of approved Tribal-State compacts that are for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. See Public Law 100– 497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq. All TribalState Class III compacts, including amendments, are subject to review and approval by the Secretary under 25 CFR 293.4. The amendment is approved. See 25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(8)(A). Dated: June 24, 2016. Lawrence S. Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2016–15976 Filed 7–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNV912000 L13400000.PQ0000 LXSS0006F0000; 12–08807; MO# 4500094009; TAS: 14X1109] Notice of Public Meetings: Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will hold two meetings in Nevada in fiscal year 2016 and one at the beginning of fiscal year 2017. The meetings are open to the public. July 22, California Trail Interpretive Center, 1 Trail Center Way, Elko, Nevada 89801, Nevada; Aug. 11–12, BLM Battle Mountain District Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, Nevada; and Oct. 6–7, 702 N. Industrial Way, HC 33, Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301, Nevada. Meeting times will be published in local and regional media sources at least 14 days before each meeting. All meetings will include a public comment period. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Deimel, Public Affairs Specialist, Elko District Office, 3900 East Idaho Street, NV 89801, telephone: (775) 753–0386, email: gdeimel@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:04 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 15member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Nevada. Topics for discussion at each meeting will include, but are not limited to: • July 22 (Elko)—Resource Advisory Council Standards and Guidelines, Greater Sage-Grouse, Range Management, and Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act. • Aug. 11–12 (Battle Mountain)— Mining and Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration and Conservation, Field Tour with Barrick. • October 6–7 (Ely)—Range Management, follow-up on Water Canyon Fertility Project, herd management areas. Managers’ reports of district office activities will be given at each meeting. The Council may raise other topics at the meetings. Final agendas will be posted on-line at the BLM Northern Great Basin RAC Web site at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/ en/res/resource_advisory.html and will be published in local and regional media sources at least 14 days before each meeting. Individuals who need special assistance such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, or who wish to receive a copy of each agenda, may contact Greg Deimel no later than 10 days prior to each meeting. Rudy Evenson, Deputy Chief, Office of Communications. [FR Doc. 2016–15961 Filed 7–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [MMAA104000] Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Joint Staff, the Department of Defense; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Energy; U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security; AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Department of Transportation; and the Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice with request for comments. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB), which includes eight Federal agencies and departments, six states, two Federallyrecognized Indian Tribes, and the MidAtlantic Fishery Management Council, is requesting public comment on its draft Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (draft Plan). The MidA RPB collaboratively prepared the draft Plan, pursuant to the National Ocean Policy, to build upon and improve existing Federal, state, and tribal decisionmaking and planning processes in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), as lead Federal agency for the MidA RPB, is publishing this notice on behalf of the MidA RPB. The MidA RPB will consider all public comments in revising the draft Plan, and will submit a final Plan to the National Ocean Council (NOC or Council) for its concurrence. DATES: Submit comments on or before September 6, 2016 (60 days after publication in the Federal Register on July 6, 2016). ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by one of the following methods: • Email: MidAtlanticRPB@boem.gov; and • Mail: Robert P. LaBelle, Federal CoLead, Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, Mailstop: VAM–BOEM DIR, Sterling, VA 20166. Comments will be made available to the public on http://www.boem.gov/ Written-Public-Comments-Submitted-tothe-MidA-RPB/. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, please do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. The Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan may be obtained online at: www.boem.gov/Ocean-Action-Plan/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert P. LaBelle, Federal Co-Lead, Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, Mailstop: VAM–BOEM DIR, Sterling, VA 20166. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: 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 E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Notices ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 intergovernmental regional planning bodies’ voluntary development of regional marine plans 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 will improve the conservation of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body The MidA RPB includes six states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia); two Federally-recognized Indian Tribes (the Shinnecock Indian Nation and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe); 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 Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and component sub-agencies (including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration, the Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Joint Staff, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); and the MidAtlantic Fishery Management Council. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:04 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 The MidA 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 Plan, described below, augment or subtract from any entity’s existing statutory or other authorities. Development of the Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan The MidA RPB met for the first time in September 2013. The MidA RPB directed the formal processes and developed the draft Plan over the course of three years. The MidA RPB process leading to the draft Plan included a total of five multi-day public meetings between September 2013 and March 2016. Between MidA 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 MidA RPB met with expert work groups, stakeholder groups, environmental groups, and marine industries, including commercial fishing and shipping groups. The MidA RPB will review all comments received during the public comment period, and revise the draft Plan at the close of the comment period. The MidA RPB will consider all public comments received in making its revisions, and will then submit a final Plan to the NOC for its concurrence. The draft Plan is based on science and informed by stakeholder data and input. Throughout the planning process, the MidA RPB involved stakeholders in developing data products regarding ocean-based human activities (for example, shipping, fishing, recreation, and energy generation) and marine life and habitat (through review of the methods, analyses, and draft products for spatial data characterizing species and their habitat). The MidA RPB also encouraged stakeholders to review spatial data on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (the Portal). In collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal Working Group, the MidA RPB developed the Portal as an online source that incorporates maps and data on marine life distribution and human activities. The Portal is available online at: http://midatlanticocean.org/dataportal/. II. The Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan The draft Plan, developed using the best available science and knowledge, provides an integrated, comprehensive, flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing uses of the MidAtlantic marine environment. The draft Plan is a forward-looking document PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44041 intended to strengthen interagency coordination, planning, and policy implementation, and to enhance public participation. The draft Plan has two main goals: (1) Healthy ocean ecosystems; and (2) sustainable ocean uses. The draft 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 draft Plan also describes best practices for Federal inter-agency coordination, as well as coordination among Federal agencies, tribes, states, and other stakeholders. The draft Plan enhances the tools and information available for Federal agency actions and planning, and clarifies alternatives and opportunities within the context of tribal and state agency actions, thereby increasing coordination opportunities across these government entities. As previously stated, the draft Plan does not augment or subtract from any entity’s existing statutory or other authorities. The draft Plan provides a strategy to monitor and analyze trends in ecosystem health, and undertake efforts to communicate progress toward achieving the two main goals of the draft Plan. The draft 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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan Executive Order 13547, which adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Final Recommendations), establishes a process for the NOC 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. The NOC 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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan was developed in accordance with the substantive and procedural standards in the Final Recommendations, the NOC certifies that Federal members of the MidA RPB will use the Plan to guide and inform their actions consistent with their existing statutory and regulatory E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1 ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 44042 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Notices authorities. 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 Federal members of the MidA RPB administer a wide range of statutes and programs affecting the marine environment in the Mid-Atlantic. 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 and national wildlife refuges, 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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan will depend on that agency’s mission, authorities, and activities in the marine environment. The Federal members of the MidA RPB will publicly describe the administrative mechanisms they will use to implement the Plan when the MidA RPB submits the Plan to the NOC for review and concurrence. If the NOC concurs (i.e., certifies) that the Plan is consistent with Executive Order 13547, the Final Recommendations, and the Handbook, each Federal MidA RPB member will incorporate the final Plan into their planning processes and internal agency documents, and use the Plan to guide and inform their decisions and actions, consistent with applicable law. Federal MidA RPB members with regulatory responsibilities will incorporate the final Plan into their pre-planning, planning, and permitting to guide and inform Federal agency internal and external permitting 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 use the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan to guide and inform their actions to the fullest extent possible under existing statutory and regulatory authorities. As noted throughout the Final Recommendations, the MidAtlantic Ocean Action Plan will not VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:04 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 create new authorities, regulations, or Federal agency missions. All Federal activities will continue to be managed under existing statutory and regulatory authorities. 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 of ocean and coastal resources to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification; and coordinate ocean policy with our national security and foreign policy interests. The MidA RPB anticipates the MidAtlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan will increase the sharing of information and data across resource managers, stakeholders, and the public; enhance decision-making through collaboration and coordination among Federal, state, and tribal governments; and provide for an improved information and data system that characterizes human activities and natural resources in MidAtlantic 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 MidAtlantic region. Authority: Executive Order 13547, ‘‘Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts and the Great Lakes’’ (July 19, 2010). Dated: June 22, 2016. Kristen J. Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Policy, Management and Budget. [FR Doc. 2016–15588 Filed 7–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR04073000, XXXR4081X3, RX.05940913.7000000] Notice of Public Meeting for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior concerning Glen Canyon Dam operations and other management actions to protect resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, consistent with the Grand Canyon Protection Act. The AMWG meets two to three times a year. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday, August 25, 2016, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Little America Hotel, 2515 E. Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katrina Grantz, Bureau of Reclamation, telephone (801) 524–3635; facsimile (801) 524–3807; email at kgrantz@ usbr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) was implemented as a result of the Record of Decision on the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam Final Environmental Impact Statement to comply with consultation requirements of the Grand Canyon Protection Act (Pub. L. 102–575) of 1992. The GCDAMP includes a Federal advisory committee, the AMWG, a technical work group (TWG), a Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and independent review panels. The TWG is a subcommittee of the AMWG and provides technical advice and recommendations to the AMWG. Agenda: The primary purpose of the meeting will be to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Work Plan, and to approve the Water Year 2017 Hydrograph operation for Glen Canyon Dam. The AMWG will receive updates on: (1) The Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement, (2) current basin hydrology, (3) reports from the Glen Canyon Dam Tribal and Federal Liaisons, (4) presentation on power generation in the West, and (5) science results from Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center staff. The AMWG will also address other administrative and resource issues pertaining to the GCDAMP. To view a copy of the agenda and documents related to the above meeting, please visit Reclamation’s Web site at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/amp/amwg/ mtgs/16aug24. Time will be allowed at the meeting for any individual or organization wishing to make formal oral comments. To allow for full consideration of information by the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06JYN1.SGM 06JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 129 (Wednesday, July 6, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44040-44042]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-15588]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

[MMAA104000]


Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan

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

ACTION: Notice with request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB), which 
includes eight Federal agencies and departments, six states, two 
Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council, is requesting public comment on its draft Mid-
Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (draft Plan). The MidA RPB 
collaboratively prepared the draft Plan, pursuant to the National Ocean 
Policy, to build upon and improve existing Federal, state, and tribal 
decision-making and planning processes in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The 
Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), 
as lead Federal agency for the MidA RPB, is publishing this notice on 
behalf of the MidA RPB. The MidA RPB will consider all public comments 
in revising the draft Plan, and will submit a final Plan to the 
National Ocean Council (NOC or Council) for its concurrence.

DATES: Submit comments on or before September 6, 2016 (60 days after 
publication in the Federal Register on July 6, 2016).

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by one of the following 
methods:
     Email: MidAtlanticRPB@boem.gov; and
     Mail: Robert P. LaBelle, Federal Co-Lead, Mid-Atlantic 
Regional Planning Body, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, Mailstop: VAM-BOEM 
DIR, Sterling, VA 20166.
    Comments will be made available to the public on http://www.boem.gov/Written-Public-Comments-Submitted-to-the-MidA-RPB/. If you 
do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, 
please do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents.
    The Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan may be obtained online at: 
www.boem.gov/Ocean-Action-Plan/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert P. LaBelle, Federal Co-Lead, 
Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, 
Mailstop: VAM-BOEM DIR, Sterling, VA 20166.

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

[[Page 44041]]

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 intergovernmental regional planning bodies' voluntary 
development of regional marine plans 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 will improve the conservation of the 
ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body

    The MidA RPB includes six states (New York, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia); two Federally-
recognized Indian Tribes (the Shinnecock Indian Nation and the Pamunkey 
Indian Tribe); 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 Homeland 
Security, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and 
component sub-agencies (including the Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic Atmospheric 
and Administration, the Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, 
the Joint Staff, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); and the Mid-
Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The MidA 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 Plan, described 
below, augment or subtract from any entity's existing statutory or 
other authorities.

Development of the Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan

    The MidA RPB met for the first time in September 2013. The MidA RPB 
directed the formal processes and developed the draft Plan over the 
course of three years. The MidA RPB process leading to the draft Plan 
included a total of five multi-day public meetings between September 
2013 and March 2016. Between MidA 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 MidA 
RPB met with expert work groups, stakeholder groups, environmental 
groups, and marine industries, including commercial fishing and 
shipping groups. The MidA RPB will review all comments received during 
the public comment period, and revise the draft Plan at the close of 
the comment period. The MidA RPB will consider all public comments 
received in making its revisions, and will then submit a final Plan to 
the NOC for its concurrence.
    The draft Plan is based on science and informed by stakeholder data 
and input. Throughout the planning process, the MidA RPB involved 
stakeholders in developing data products regarding ocean-based human 
activities (for example, shipping, fishing, recreation, and energy 
generation) and marine life and habitat (through review of the methods, 
analyses, and draft products for spatial data characterizing species 
and their habitat). The MidA RPB also encouraged stakeholders to review 
spatial data on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (the Portal). In 
collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal Working Group, 
the MidA RPB developed the Portal as an online source that incorporates 
maps and data on marine life distribution and human activities. The 
Portal is available online at: http://midatlanticocean.org/data-portal/
.

II. The Draft Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan

    The draft Plan, developed using the best available science and 
knowledge, provides an integrated, comprehensive, flexible, and 
proactive approach to planning and managing uses of the Mid-Atlantic 
marine environment. The draft Plan is a forward-looking document 
intended to strengthen interagency coordination, planning, and policy 
implementation, and to enhance public participation. The draft Plan has 
two main goals: (1) Healthy ocean ecosystems; and (2) sustainable ocean 
uses. The draft 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 draft Plan also describes best practices for Federal 
inter-agency coordination, as well as coordination among Federal 
agencies, tribes, states, and other stakeholders. The draft Plan 
enhances the tools and information available for Federal agency actions 
and planning, and clarifies alternatives and opportunities within the 
context of tribal and state agency actions, thereby increasing 
coordination opportunities across these government entities.
    As previously stated, the draft Plan does not augment or subtract 
from any entity's existing statutory or other authorities. The draft 
Plan provides a strategy to monitor and analyze trends in ecosystem 
health, and undertake efforts to communicate progress toward achieving 
the two main goals of the draft Plan. The draft 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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan

    Executive Order 13547, which adopts the Final Recommendations of 
the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Final Recommendations), 
establishes a process for the NOC 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.
    The NOC 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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan was 
developed in accordance with the substantive and procedural standards 
in the Final Recommendations, the NOC certifies that Federal members of 
the MidA RPB will use the Plan to guide and inform their actions 
consistent with their existing statutory and regulatory

[[Page 44042]]

authorities. 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 Federal members of the MidA RPB administer a wide range of 
statutes and programs affecting the marine environment in the Mid-
Atlantic. 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 and national wildlife refuges, 
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 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan will depend on that 
agency's mission, authorities, and activities in the marine 
environment. The Federal members of the MidA RPB will publicly describe 
the administrative mechanisms they will use to implement the Plan when 
the MidA RPB submits the Plan to the NOC for review and concurrence.
    If the NOC concurs (i.e., certifies) that the Plan is consistent 
with Executive Order 13547, the Final Recommendations, and the 
Handbook, each Federal MidA RPB member will incorporate the final Plan 
into their planning processes and internal agency documents, and use 
the Plan to guide and inform their decisions and actions, consistent 
with applicable law. Federal MidA RPB members with regulatory 
responsibilities will incorporate the final Plan into their pre-
planning, planning, and permitting to guide and inform Federal agency 
internal and external permitting 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 use the Mid-
Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan to guide and inform their actions 
to the fullest extent possible under existing statutory and regulatory 
authorities. As noted throughout the Final Recommendations, the Mid-
Atlantic Ocean Action Plan will not create new authorities, 
regulations, or Federal agency missions. All Federal activities will 
continue to be managed under existing statutory and regulatory 
authorities.

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 of ocean and coastal resources to enhance our 
understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean 
acidification; and coordinate ocean policy with our national security 
and foreign policy interests.
    The MidA RPB anticipates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action 
Plan will increase the sharing of information and data across resource 
managers, stakeholders, and the public; enhance decision-making through 
collaboration and coordination among Federal, state, and tribal 
governments; and provide for an improved information and data system 
that characterizes human activities and natural resources in Mid-
Atlantic 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 Mid-Atlantic region.

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

    Dated: June 22, 2016.
Kristen J. Sarri,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Policy, Management and Budget.
[FR Doc. 2016-15588 Filed 7-5-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P