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.