Notice of Approval for the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan
Notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce approves the Management Plan for the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) located in Hawai'i. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a federal-state partnership administered by NOAA. The system protects more than 1.3 million acres of estuarine habitat for long-term research, monitoring, education and stewardship throughout the coastal United States. Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, each reserve is managed by a lead state agency or university, with input from local partners. NOAA provides funding and national programmatic guidance. The He'eia Reserve Management Plan addresses research, monitoring, education, and stewardship/cultural resources needs for the proposed reserve. The Management Plan has been organized with goals, objectives and strategies that are based on an adaptive management planning framework. These goals, focusing on the He`eia estuary, traditional knowledge, coastal resources, and management issues, closely link the NERRS program sectors of education, research and training, and stewardship. The goals of the Management Plan can be applied beyond the five-year timeframe of the Management Plan. On September 2, 2016, NOAA issued notice of a public hearing and a thirty-day public comment period for the He`eia Reserve Management Plan and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement associated with the Proposed Designation of the He'eia NERR (81 FR 60676). On October 13, 2016, NOAA announced a 13-day extension to the public comment period (81 FR 70666). Responses to the relevant written and oral comments on the Management Plan have been incorporated into Appendix D of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve. The final Management Plan and final EIS, including the Appendix D response to comments, are available at the regulations.gov Web site by searching for Docket Number NOAA-NOS-2016- 0114, and at https://coast.noaa.gov/czm/compliance/.
Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements
We are proposing to withdraw the alternative tow time restriction and require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishingwith the exception of vessels participating in the Biscayne Bay wing net fishery prosecuted in Miami-Dade County, Floridato use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) designed to exclude small turtles in their nets. The intent of this proposed rule is to reduce incidental bycatch and mortality of sea turtles in the southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries, and to aid in the protection and recovery of listed sea turtle populations. We also are proposing to amend the definition of tow times to better clarify the intent and purpose of tow times to reduce sea turtle mortality, and to refine additional portions of the TED requirements to avoid potential confusion.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 37
NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would modify the management unit boundaries for hogfish in the South Atlantic by establishing two hogfish stocks, a Georgia through North Carolina (GA/ NC) stock and a Florida Keys/East Florida (FLK/EFL) stock; establish a rebuilding plan for the FLK/EFL hogfish stock; specify fishing levels and accountability measures (AMs), and modify or establish management measures for the GA/NC and FLK/EFL stocks of hogfish. The purpose of this proposed rule is to manage hogfish using the best scientific information available while ending overfishing and rebuilding the FLK/ EFL hogfish stock.
Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Release Reports
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Notice of Availability of an Alabama Trustee Implementation Group (Alabama TIG) Draft Recreational Use Restoration Plan I and Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities (RP/EIS)
In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group (Alabama TIG) have prepared a Draft Recreational Use Restoration Plan I and Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities (Draft RP/EIS). The Draft RP/EIS describes the restoration project alternatives considered by the Alabama TIG to compensate for recreational shoreline use lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Alabama TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations and evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft RP/EIS and to seek public comments on the document.