Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Missile Launch Operations at Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) to take two species of pinnipeds incidental to space vehicle and missile launch operations at the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) in Kodiak, Alaska.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish
NMFS has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for 10(a)(1)(A), Enhancement of the Species Permit Application for the collection and transport of Spring-Run Chinook for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.
Revisions of Boundaries, Regulations and Zoning Scheme for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; Revisions of Fish and Wildlife Service and State of Florida Management Agreement for Submerged Lands Within Boundaries of the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges and Regulations; Intent To Prepare a Draft Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement; Notice of Scoping Meetings
In accordance with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Wildlife Refuge System of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have initiated a review of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS or sanctuary) boundaries, regulations and zoning scheme. This review of existing regulations and marine zoning may result in changes to regulations, marine zoning, such as altering boundaries of current zones, creating new zones, or amending the regulations that apply to individual zones, and possibly sanctuary boundaries. The review will also include the FWS's Backcountry Management Plan and associated regulations, as authorized by the FWS and State of Florida Management Agreement for Submerged Lands within Boundaries of the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges, to evaluate substantive progress toward implementing the backcountry management goals for the refuges.
Updates to List of National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
The National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provides a mechanism for MPAs managed by diverse government agencies to work together on common conservation priorities. In July 2011, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) invited federal, state, commonwealth, territorial and tribal MPA programs with potentially eligible existing MPAs to nominate their sites to the National System of MPAs (national system). A total of 58 nominations were received, including three from the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, 40 from the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, three from the National Park Service, one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, five from the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, two from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, one from the Virgin Islands Department Of Planning and Natural Resources and three from the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Following a 45-day public review period, two public comments were received by the National Marine Protected Areas Center (MPA Center). Both comments were supportive of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, which was nominated by the National Park Service. The managing agencies listed above were asked to make a final determination of sites to nominate to the national system. Finding them to be eligible for the national system, the MPA Center has accepted the nominations for 58 sites and placed them on the List of National System MPAs. The national system and the nomination process are described in the Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States of America (Framework), developed in response to Executive Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas. The final Framework was published on November 19,2008, and provides guidance for collaborative efforts among federal, state, commonwealth, territorial, tribal and local governments and stakeholders to develop a national system that includes existing MPAs meeting national system criteria as well as new sites that may be established by managing agencies to fill key conservation gaps in important ocean areas.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Columbia River Crossing Project, Washington and Oregon
NMFS has received a request from the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Authority (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), on behalf of the Columbia River Crossing project (CRC), for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to bridge construction and demolition activities at the Columbia River and North Portland Harbor, Washington and Oregon, over the course of 5 years from approximately July 2013 through June 2018. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is proposing regulations to govern that take and requests information, suggestions, and comments on these proposed regulations.