Revised Draft Framework for Developing the National System of Marine Protected Areas and Response to Comments
NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) jointly propose the Revised Draft Framework for Developing the National System of Marine Protected Areas (Revised Draft Framework), as required by Executive Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This Revised Draft Framework provides overarching guidance for collaborative efforts among federal, state, tribal and local governments and stakeholders to develop an effective National System of MPAs (National System) from existing sites, build coordination and collaborative efforts, and identify ecosystem-based gaps in the protection of significant natural and cultural resources for possible future action by the nation's MPA authorities. The document further provides the guiding principles, key definitions, goals, and objectives for the National System, based on the breadth of input received from MPA stakeholders and governmental partners around the nation over the past several years. The intent of this document is to summarize and respond to comments received on the initial draft document during the September 2006 through February 2007 public comment period, and solicit additional public input on the proposed Revised Draft Framework in order to develop a final document that meets the nation's interests in the National System. The Revised Draft Framework incorporates significant modifications based on due consideration of all comments and recommendations received on the initial draft document. At the end of the comment period on this Revised Draft Framework, NOAA will publish the final Framework, again with consideration of input received.
Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat: Notice of Finding on a Petition to List Five Rockfish Species in Puget Sound (Washington) as Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act
On October 29, 2007, we, NMFS, received new information and a request to reconsider our ``not warranted'' finding on a petition submitted in April 2007 to list bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis), canary rockfish (S. pinniger), yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus), greenstripe rockfish (S. elongatus) and redstripe rockfish (S. proriger) in Puget Sound (Washington) as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We consider this a new petition and find that this new petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Accordingly, we are initiating a status review of these five rockfish species. To ensure that the status review is complete and based upon the best available scientific and commercial information, we are soliciting information regarding the population structure and status of these rockfish species.
Marine Mammals and Endangered Species; National Marine Fisheries Service File No. 932-1905; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service File No. PRT-009526
Notice is hereby given that the NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP), Silver Spring, MD (Dr. Teri Rowles, Principal Investigator) has applied in due form for a permit to conduct enhancement and research activities on marine mammals.
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Application for an Exempted Fishing Permit
This notice announces receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from the Alaska Groundfish Databank. If granted, this permit would allow the applicant to continue the development and testing of an electronic monitoring system designed to quantify the amount of halibut caught and discarded at sea. This activity is intended to promote the objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) by potentially allowing for an alternative cost effective estimation of halibut bycatch in the rockfish fishery. Comments will be accepted at the April 1-7, 2008, North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) meeting in Anchorage, AK.
NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program
NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Funded projects provide meaningful watershed educational experiences for students, related professional development for teachers, and helps to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Gulf of Mexico and New England. These new geographic areas are intended to build upon on the successes of the existing B-WET Programs in the Chesapeake Bay, California, and Hawaii.
Federal Consistency Appeal by Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency
This announcement provides notice that Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) has filed an administrative appeal with the Department of Commerce asking that the Secretary override the California Coastal Commission's (CCC) objection to TCA's construction of an extension to California State Route 241 in northern San Diego and southern Orange Counties, California.
North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings, April 1-7, 2008, in Anchorage, AK.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Closure of the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area to General Category Scallop Vessels
NMFS announces that the Elephant Trunk Scallop Access Area (ETAA) will close to general category scallop vessels until it re-opens on March 1, 2009 under current regulations. This action is based on the determination that 865 general category scallop trips into the ETAA are projected to be taken as of 0001 hr local time, March 13, 2008. This action is being taken to prevent the allocation of general category trips in the ETAA from being exceeded during the 2008 fishing year, in accordance with the regulations implementing Framework 18 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and the Magnuson- Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.