• Obama and Trudeau Ban Most Arctic and Atlantic oil and Gas Operations

    On December 20, 2016, U.S. President Obama banned new offshore oil and gas drilling in much of the U.S. Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also committed to freeze new offshore leasing in Canada’s Arctic waters and to review the matter every five years. Click here to read a Bloomberg Politics article on these actions.

  • Russia Resists Creation of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas

    ABC News published an article on Russian recalcitrance toward creation of marine protected areas.  This article included the following:

    “Russia is now the only country holding back support to create marine protected areas (MPA) in Antarctica, and is facing international pressure to agree to the plan.

    A meeting of 24 countries is underway in Hobart, and members are set to spend the next fortnight deciding if they should protect the waters of the Ross Sea and East Antarctica.

    The issue has been before the international committee for more than five years.

  • Comments Sought on National Marine Sanctuaries ICR

    The U.S. Department of Commerce seeks public comment on a proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Written comments must be submitted on or before November 22, 2016.

  • New Marine National Monument in Atlantic

    President Obama has declared the first fully protected area in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean, designating 4,913 square miles off the New England coastline as a new marine national monument.

    The President’s previous marine conservation declarations have focused on some of the most remote waters under U.S. jurisdiction, including last month’s expansion of a massive protected area in Hawaii. But the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is more accessible, lying 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod.

    President Obama has now declared 553,000,000 acres of new national monuments, the most by any president.  The previous high was George W. Bush’s 214, 800,000.

  • NOAA’s Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council Meets

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council will hold a public meeting Tuesday, September 27, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. An opportunity for public comment will be provided at 3:45 p.m. ET. The meeting will be held in The National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room located on the 13th Floor of The National Press Building at 529 14th Street NW., Washington, DC 20045.

    The Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council has been formed to provide advice and recommendations to NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries regarding the relationship of ONMS with the business community. Additional information on the council can be found at here.

  • NOAA Seeks Nominations for Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Requests Nominations for the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior on implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, specifically on strategies and priorities for developing the national system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of new and existing MPAs.

    Nominations are sought for highly qualified non-Federal scientists, resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with or affected by marine protected areas, including in the Great Lakes. Ten of the 20 members of the 2 Committee have terms that expire November 15, 2016, and nominations are sought to fill these vacancies.

  • NOAA Seeks Applicants for National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Councils

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is seeking applications for vacant seats for eight of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils, and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lake resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two or three year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council or Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council.

  • Nature Article on Marine Protected Areas

    Nature Magazine recently published an article titled “Policy: Marine biodiversity needs more than protection.”  This article reads in part as follows:

    “On 1 September, government leaders, directors of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others will meet in Hawaii at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress to discuss environmental and development challenges. Twenty-three NGOs, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are calling on the IUCN to make 30% of the world’s coastal and marine areas fully protected from fishing and other forms of exploitation by 2030.”



  • New Study on Using MPAs to Protect Corals

    A study recently published by scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and University College Cork in the UK concludes that deep, cold-water corals are very slow to recover from damage. The study further concludes that deep-water Marine Protected Areas can be used to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems most effectively when they are put in place before that damage occurs.

    Click here to read a detailed article about this study.

  • California Commission Delays Vote on Marine Protected Areas Management Plan

    The California Fish and Game Commission voted to delay adoption of a management plan for the state’s system of Marine Protection Areas for a second time. The delay did not stop sport anglers from raising concerns on proposed changes to the plan, which they claim will betray assurances made by the commission that it would reconsider opening the protected waters to fishing every five years.

    Click here for a Eureka Times-Standard article on this vote.