Endangered Species; File No. 1509
Notice is hereby given that Jeanette Wyneken, Florida Atlantic University, Department of Biological Sciences, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Rocket Launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a 1-year letter of authorization (LOA) has been issued to the 30th Space Wing, U.S. Air Force to harass seals and sea lions incidental to rocket and missile launches on Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Vermilion Snapper Rebuilding Plan
NMFS issues proposed regulations to implement Amendment 23 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 23) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). These proposed regulations would increase the minimum size limit for vermilion snapper to 11 inches (27.9 cm), total length (TL), for the recreational and commercial sectors; establish a 10-fish recreational bag limit for vermilion snapper within the existing 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit; and close the commercial vermilion snapper fishery from April 22 through May 31 each year. In addition, consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), Amendment 23 would establish a stock rebuilding plan, biological reference points, and stock status determination criteria for vermilion snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. The intended effect of these proposed regulations is to end overfishing and rebuild the vermilion snapper resource.
Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting
The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) was established by the Secretary of Commerce to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, its amendments, and such other appropriate matters that the Under Secretary refers to the Panel for review and advice. Date and Time: The meeting will be held Thursday, March 31, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, April 1, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, One Market Place, San Diego, California 92101; telephone: 619-232-1234. The times and agenda topics are subject to change. Refer to the Web site listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda.
Notice of Availability of the Final Reserve Operations Plan for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announces the availability of the Final Reserve Operations Plan for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (Reserve). The Reserve Operations Plan (ROP) is a requirement of Executive Order 13178, as finalized by Executive Order 13196 (hereinafter collectively referred to as Executive Order or EO). The ROP was presented to the public on two separate occasions in 2002 and 2004, and over 30,000 public comments resulted from both open public comment periods. The most recent public comment period for the ROP opened on March 19, 2004 and ended on May 15, 2004. Approximately 29,400 public comments were received during this period, with about 27,000 arriving by e-mail and the remainder by letter and fax. In addition, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council provided both general and specific comments on the draft final ROP as did the Marine Mammal Commission, Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council and a group of 13 local and national conservation organizations, claiming to represent over 3.4 million members. A similar letter was also received from a group of 10 conservation organizations (many of the same as above), collectively representing more than 2.7 million members.
Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves
The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) announces its intent to evaluate the performance of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, New Hampshire; the American Samoa Coastal Management Program; the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida; the Puerto Rico Coastal Management Program; and the California Coastal Commission Coastal Management Program. The Coastal Zone Management Program evaluations will be conducted pursuant to section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, (CZMA) and regulations at 15 CFR part 923, subpart L. The National Estuarine Research Reserve evaluations will be conducted pursuant to sections 312 and 315 of the CZMA and regulations at 15 CFR part 921, subpart E and part 923, subpart L. The CZMA requires continuing review of the performance of states with respect to coastal program implementation. Evaluation of Coastal Zone Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves requires findings concerning the extent to which a State has met the national objectives, adhered to its Coastal Management Program document or Reserve final management plan approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and adhered to the terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA. The evaluations will include a site visit, consideration of public comments, and consultations with interested Federal, State and local agencies and members of the public. Public meetings will be held as part of the site visits. Notice is hereby given of the dates of the site visits for the listed evaluations, and the dates, local times, and locations of the public meetings during the site visits. The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, New Hampshire, evaluation site visit will be held April 26-28, 2005. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be on Wednesday, April 27, 2005, at 7 p.m., at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Region 3 Office, 225 Main Street, Durham, New Hampshire. The American Samoa Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held June 6-10, 2005. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Monday, June 6, 2005, at 4 p.m., at the Convention Center, Utulei, American Samoa. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida, evaluation site visit will be held June 20-24, 2005. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2005, at 6 p.m., at the Environmental Learning Center Auditorium, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 300 Tower Road, Naples, Florida. The Puerto Rico Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held June 20-24, 2005. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2005, at 7 p.m. at the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Parada 3\1/2\ Puerta de Tierra, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The California Coastal Commission Coastal Management Program evaluation site visit will be held June 20-24, 2005. One public meeting will be held during the week. The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2005, at 7 p.m. at the City of Santa Cruz Police Department, Community Room, 155 Center Street, Santa Cruz, California. Copies of States' most recent performance reports, as well as OCRM's notifications and supplemental request letters to the State, are available upon request from OCRM. Written comments from interested parties regarding these Programs are encouraged and will be accepted until 15 days after the last public meeting held for that Program. Please direct written comments to Ralph Cantral, Chief, National Policy and Evaluation Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 10th Floor, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. When the evaluations are completed, OCRM will place a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Final Evaluation Findings. Notice is hereby given of the availability of the final evaluation findings for the Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin Coastal Management Programs (CMPs); and the Waquoit Bay (Massachusetts) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Sections 312 and 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA), as amended, require a continuing review of the performance of coastal states with respect to approval of CMPs and the operation and management of NERRs. The States of Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin were found to be implementing and enforcing their federally approved coastal management programs, addressing the national coastal management objectives identified in CZMA Section 303(2)(A)-(K), and adhering to the programmatic terms of their financial assistance awards. Waquoit Bay (Massachusetts) NERR was found to be adhering to programmatic requirements of the NERR System. Copies of these final evaluation findings may be obtained upon written request from: Ralph Cantral, Chief, National Policy and Evaluation Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOS/NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, 10th Floor, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or Ralph.Cantral@noaa.gov, (301) 713-3155, extension 118.